National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee
















Out of State
Portrait #1891
Subject/Title:
Lawrence, Laura Matilda
Artist:Earl, Ralph E. W.
Date Created:ca. 1833
Owner/Location:Private Collection
Out-of-State
Frame Dimensions:40 x 35 (HxW)
Image Dimensions:30 x 25 (HxW)
Materials/Media:Oil on stretched canvas
Date Documented:4 July 2013
Condition:Excellent as restored

Description:Waist-length portrait of a young woman in a dark green off-the-shoulder gown with lace inset or undergarment visible at the bustline and along shoulder. Sleeves are puffed. Subject's dark hair is up with curls hanging onto her left shoulder. She has fair skin and brown eyes. She is wearing no jewelry.
History of Work:The portrait is very similar to a portrait done by Earl of the subject's twin sister, Caroline Minerva Lawrence (#759 on this site), with similar background and a similar (but not identical) dress. The two may have been painted at the same time. The portrait has remained in the subject's family, handed down through the descendants of the subject's daughter Caroline Minerva Donelson Whitaker (named after her twin sister). The painting was repaired and restored professionally in 2013. The frame is original and is in fair condition--needs restoration.
Notes:Laura Matilda Lawrence was the daughter of Dr. William Pitt Lawrence and Nancy Pomeroy Risley Lawrence of Nashville. She was born February 13, 1815. She married John Donelson, son of Severn Donelson and Elizabeth Rucker, on October 24, 1833.. (Severn was brother of Rachel Donelson—Mrs. Andrew Jackson—and the natural father of Andrew Jackson, Jr.) Laura Matilda Lawrence Donelson died April 4, 1844, two weeks after having given birth to a stillborn son, the couple's fifth child.

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