called Richard Lee I (d. 1664/5)

Artist: Unknown
Date: ?

A portrait has been identified as Richard Lee I by family tradition since at least 1790. The portrait descended in the Lee family at Stratford Hall (built ca. 1730s-40s). However, the costume and wig appear to date closer to ca. 1720, calling the subject identification into question. It may be another Lee family member. It was probably painted in England.

Richard Lee I immigrated to Virginia and became one of Virginia’s largest landholders. He married Anne Constable. He returned to England with his family, sent his sons to school there, and died in England. His will directed that most of his children return to Virginia, which they did.

Reference: “Stratford whose delightful shades formed the comfort and retirement of my wise and Philosophic grandfather with what a mixture of awe and pious gratification did it afford me sitting on one of the sophas of the great Hall, to trace the family resemblance in the portraits of all my dear mother’s forefathers–her father & mother grandfather & grandmother and so upwards for four generations! Their pictures have been drawn by the most eminent English artists and in large gilt frames adorn one of the most spacious & beautiful Halls I have seen.” from Thomas Lee Shippen to William Shippen, 29 September 1790. Shippen Family Papers.

Dimensions: 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.)

The subject wears a wig and a gray jacket with gold buttons. He is turned towards his left and appears inside a painted oval.

See: Edmund Jennings Lee, ed. Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892: Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of The Descendants of Colonel Richard Lee (Philadelphia, 1895).

Family: Lee
Location: London
Decade: Unknown