Painting, Portrait of Frances Anne Tasker Carter
London-trained John Wollaston, Jr., came to America in 1749 and remained for nearly ten years. His timing was opportune, for he met little competition from other portraitists, and his facile, stylish mode of painting proved exceedingly popular with colonial gentry. Frances Anne Tasker (1738-1787) was painted soon after her April 1754 marriage to Robert Carter III (1728-1804) of Nomini Hall plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The match united two notable family fortunes, and Wollaston took pains to reveal his subject's elevated status. His three-quarter-length format and the young woman's graceful, classical stance artfully display the rich sheen of her dress fabric and her simple yet elegant brooch.