Thursday, November 17, 2011

Portrait of the Week - Dedicated to the Devotions

Dearest Friends,
Our portrait of the week is actually a collection of paintings, of the Devotions of Connecticut by the artist Winthrop Chandler.

Meet Eunice Huntington Devotion Lyman depicted with her child in a portrait by Winthrop Chandler dated 1772, located at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT.

Eunice Huntington Devotion Lyman 1772 by Winthrop Chandler
She is the wife of merchant Ebenezer Devotion, Jr., whose father and mother were painted by Winthrop Chandler two years earlier in honor of Ebenezer Senior's 56th birthday.

Interesting handkerchief treatment here and cap similar to others we have seen previously in our portrait gallery.  Her gown is more highly decorated than some of our other ladies, perhaps demonstrating their wealth, though oddly, notice a lack of jewelry.

Here is her husband, Judge Ebenezer Devotion who's portrait is also at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.  Nice mole, but not a proper hair mole.  Fabulous suit!

Ebenezer Devotion by Winthrop Chandler 1772 

By the way, here are her in-law's portraits, no wonder Eunice is not smiling

Revered Ebenezer & Mary Lathrop Devotion 1770 by Winthrop Chandler

What is fun about this collection of portraits is that they are more in the folk art style -- very different from the very realistic paintings done by the classically trained Mr. Copley.   However Mr. Chandler still takes the time to show us important clothing and accessory details.

As we prepare for The Challenge, examining portraits is one of several very valuable tools we have to help us define what 1773 fashion really looked like.

I hope you enjoyed the Devotions.


Mrs. S


  1. Is that a baby a boy or girl? No cap, flag for boy. Hair pulled firmly back, flag for girl. Sleeve ruffles, another girl flag. Playing with fruit....toddler!

  2. According to the Lyman Museum, it's a daughter. I'm assuming that it is Eunice born in September 1770. BTW Eunice (the mom) is 24 years old in this portrait

    She was probably pregnant when this was painted as she gave birth to another daughter, Martha in January of 1773 and another daughter at the very end of December the same year, who died the same day.

  3. Actually, there is one piece of jewelry. In other views of this portrait, you can clearly see that she has a brooch fastening the CF of her neckhandkerchief. It's one of those twisted hearts which collectors call a witch's heart.

  4. A very busy bosom, flowers, neck ruffle, handkerchief, pin and the bows look applied on top of the handkerchief which looks like it has ruching. Very busy!

  5. Thanks Sharon! I missed the witch's heart -- what an interesting touch to, as Mrs P most aptly said, "a busy bosom"

    - Mrs. S

  6. Does the black swatch of handkerchief indicate that she was in mourning? I don't think I've seen anything like that before. Interesting!

  7. Do you mean at the neck edge, with the flowers? I think those are the leaves and greenery of the corsage. Mrs. P.