Elizabeth Burwell Nelson (Mrs. William Nelson, 1718-before 1798)

Artist: Robert Feke
Date: 1749-1751

Elizabeth Burwell was the daughter of Nathaniel Burwell and Elizabeth Carter Burwell of Fairfield Plantation. She married William Nelson and was the mother Thomas Nelson and Hugh Nelson. Her portrait is attributed to the artist Robert Feke because she named Feke as the artist of her husband’s portrait in her will. Other than the Nelson portraits and the portrait of Mary Nelson Berkeley, there are no other portraits attributed to Feke in Virginia. It is unclear if they were painted in Philadelphia, where Feke was working in ca. 1750, or if they were painted in Yorktown where the Nelsons lived.

Dimensions: 49 5/8 x 39 5/8 in. (126 x 100.6 cm.)

The subject sits outdoors in a landscape. She wears a blue dress with a jeweled clasps at her neckline and elbows. Her left hands holds a pink rose in her lap. Her right elbow rests on a stone. She is turned three-quarters to her left.

See: Colonial Williamsburg eMuseum; Carolyn J. Weekley, Painters and Paintings in the Early American South (2013), 249.

Location: Yorktown
Decade: 1740s1750s
Credits: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Gift of Mrs. Douglas Crocker, 1986-246.