Portrait of Rebecca White Pickering (Mrs. Timothy Pickering) (Primary Title)

Gilbert Stuart, American, 1755 - 1828 (Artist)

1817-1818
American
oil on wood
Unframed: 32 1/4 × 25 3/4 in. (81.92 × 65.41 cm)
Framed: 41 × 34 1/4 × 5 1/4 in. (104.14 × 87 × 13.34 cm)
2014.244
The most successful portrait painter of the federal era, Stuart is best known for his iconic images of George Washington. He also became famous for his depictions of upper-class Anglo- American women posed in lushly rendered costumes and settings. This elegant work speaks to both aspects of Stuart’s practice and reputation. Rebecca White Pickering was the wife of Colonel Timothy Pickering of Salem, Massachusetts, who was a trusted associate of Washington;a quartermaster general during the Revolutionary War; and a member of the first president’s cabinet, serving as secretary of war then state. Commissioned by the Pickerings’ son, this seemingly candid portrait is among Stuart’s most incisive and painterly works.
Early Republic
inscribed on backing: GW McGovern; HT Rooney; HJ Wellings
J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1880 and 1924;
“Loan Collection of Portraits of Women,” Copley Hall, Boston, March 11-31, 1895;
“Gilbert Stuart Memorial Exhibition,” Museum of Fine Arts Boston, October 24 – December 9, 1928
“Survey of American Painting,” Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 1940
“Gilbert Stuart and His Times: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum, Saunderstown, Rhode Island,” William Vareika Fine Arts, Ltd., December 3, 2010-March 6, 2011
“Gilbert Stuart,” in Masters in Art: A Series of Illustrated Monographs, 13, 7 (Boston: Bates and Guild Company, 1906): plate III.

Carrie Rebora Barratt, “Lydia Pickering Williams” in Carrie Rebora Barratt and Ellen G. Miles, Gilbert Stuart, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), ill. 343.

Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.