Milicent Conway Gordon (Mrs. James Gordon, 1725-1748)

Date: 1750

Milicent Conway Gordon was the first wife of James Gordon and the mother of Ann and Sarah Gordon. She died in 1748 indicating that this is a post-mortem portrait of her. Of the five Gordon family portraits painted by Hesselius, this is the only one signed and dated on the front of the canvas.

Dimensions: 50 1/4 x 39 3/4 in. (127.64 x 100.97 cm.)

The subject wears a blue dress with a red underskirt. She has a gold tasseled cord around her waist and pearls at her elbows. Her right hand rests on a table. Her left hand points downwards. A red curtain is on her right and is wrapped around a column and over the top of the table. John Hesselius signed and dated the painting on the right side of the canvas next to her left elbow.

See: Carolyn J. Weekley, Painters and Paintings in the Early American South (2013), 255-256.

Family: ConwayGordon
Decade: 1750s
Credits: Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 1984.4.