Mildred Howell Lightfoot (Mrs. William Lightfoot, 1723-1783)

Date: ca. 1755-1758

Mildred Howell Lightfoot was the mother of Mary Lightfoot and Mildred Lightfoot. She was the wife of William Lightfoot of Sandy Point. Her father was John Howell. Her daughters were painted by John Wollaston in the 1750s. This portrait is attributed to John Wollaston. The face is more carefully modeled than most Wollaston portraits but a few known Wollastons share this trait. This was possibly one of the portraits that a family descendant recalled in 1895 as having been scattered amongst descendants when the family left Sandy Point in the nineteenth century.

The subject wears a gold dress with a bow and a white underskirt. There are pearls in her hair and small blue flowers are tucked into the bow on her dress. She is inside a painted oval frame and is turned three-quarters to her right.

See: Lyon G. Tyler, “The Lightfoot Family,” William and Mary Quarterly 3, 2 (October 1895): 110; MESDA Object Database, NN-2396


Decade: 1750s
Credits: Private collection, MESDA Object Database, record NN-2396, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), Winston-Salem, NC.