Elizabeth Carter Burwell was the daughter of Robert “King” Carter and Judith Armistead. Her first husband was Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721); her second husband was Dr. George Nicholas. The portrait descended in the family at Carter Hall, which was built by her grandson, Nathaniel Burwell (1750-1814) in the 1790s. It is unclear where or exactly when she was painted, or where the portrait originally hung. It is likely that it hung with her first husband’s portrait at their Fairfield Plantation house. Carter Burwell (1716-1756), of Carter’s Grove, was the father of Nathaniel Burwell of Carter Hall who inherited the portraits. It is therefore possible the portrait hung for a time at Carter’s Grove. She is posed similarly to the portrait believed to be her mother, Judith Armistead Carter.
The subject is shown seated at a window with her left arm resting on a stone slab. She wears a wrap dress with a jeweled clasp at her bust. Her left hand is raised to touch her hair and her right arm rests in her lap. A drapery swag appears on the left. She is turned three-quarters to her left.