Sarah Battaile Fitzhugh (Mrs. Henry Fitzhugh, b 1731)

Date: 1751

Sarah Battaile married Henry Fitzhugh (1723-1783) of Bedford in 1746. The portrait was originally painted in 1751 but was altered in 1767 when her daughter, Sarah Fitzhugh was painted. There is evidence of alteration particularly around her hair.

Reference: Husband’s August 1767 account records, “By altering my picture and my wifes £2:12:0/ By drawing Sallys do half £10:2:0/ [total] £13:0:0,” in Fitzhugh Family Papers, Duke University

Dimensions: 29 x 26 in. (73.66 x 66.04 cm.)

The subject wears a blue dress trimmed with lace. A pearl and jeweled bow is at her breast. She wears a double strand pearl necklace. A trimmed, light blue or silver drape is around her arms. Her right hand holds a pink rose. She is inside a painted oval frame. Inscription on the back below relining: “Sarah Fitzhugh wife of Major H. Fitzhugh Daughr of John & Sarah Battaile Aetatis 20 1751 J. Hesselius Pinx.”

See: Richard K. Doud, “The Fitzhugh Portraits by John Hesselius,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 75, no. 2 (April 1967): 159-173.

Decade: 1750s
Credits: Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 1954.3.