Maria Byrd Carter (Mrs. Landon Carter, 1727-1744)

Artist: Unknown
Date: probably 1740-1750

Maria Byrd Carter was the daughter of William Byrd II and Maria Taylor Byrd of Westover. She married Landon Carter in 1742. This portrait descended at Westover in the Byrd family. Another version of this portrait descended from Landon Carter of Sabine Hall.

In 1813, Mary Willing Byrd’s will bequeathed this portrait to William Powell Byrd as “one of his Aunt Maria Carter.”

Dimensions: 46 1/2 x 37 1/2 in. (118.11 x 95.25 cm.)

The subject wears a silver wrap dress with a small jeweled clasp and a blue drape. She wears pearls in her hair. Her left arm rests on a stone pillar and holds a small flower. A large vase of flowers is on the pillar next to her. A window is to her right. The size of the canvas is unusual.

See: Carolyn J. Weekley, Painters and Paintings in the Early American South (2013), 255; The Will of Mrs. Mary Willing Byrd, of Westover, 1813, with a List of the Westover Portraits.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 6, no. 4 (April 1899): 345–58.

Family: ByrdCarter
Decade: 1740s1750s