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Mrs.Thomas Mumford VI

William Johnston was the first portraitist to work for an extended period of time (1763-64) in Connecticut, where he enjoyed the patronage of prominent colonists like the Mumfords before returning to his native Boston. This likeness of Catherine Havens Mumford (1735-1778), one of four known portraits of Mumford family members, was probably painted at the same time as the portrait of her merchant husband, Thomas Mumford V (52.41), later a patriot active in the Revolutionary War. Her pose and the landscape behind her are similar to the grand postures and settings that other colonial painters drew from English mezzotint prints. Johnston's relative naïveté in treating such an ambitious format lends this work a distinctly decorative charm, especially in details like the double strand of pearls and the floral garland held in the sitter's hands.

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