Portrait, The Murray Sisters: Sally Scott Murray [later, Mrs. Edward Lloyd] (1775-1854) and Her Sister, Anna Maria Murray [later, Mrs. John Mason](1776-1857)
A painting of two young women standing full length, both attired in white, long-sleeved, low-necked dresses and shown walking toward a portrait bust on a plinth at far right. The far left woman extends a floral wreath, as if to crown the bust, the woman at center holds an ivy garland, also apparently intending to decorate the bust. A body of water can be seen in the background and, on it, a sailing vessel. Trees flank the composition.
Inscription(s): In paint in script at lower left is, "Bouché f. 1794". Inscribed in paint on the portrait bust's plinth is, "AMICITIAE/SACRUM." Note: the plinth inscription is painted over another, earlier inscription reading, "LONGÈ & PROPÈ/MORS & VITA". The over-painting appears to have been done by the artist at or about the time of the overall work's execution.
Presumably Bouché was French, although his first name and the basic facts of his life are unknown. Historians have identified several of his portraits of Americans, including a few profiles sensitively executed in pencil on paper.
The painting depicts Sally Scott Murray (1775-1854) and her sister, Anna Maria Murray (1776-1857), the daughters of James and Sarah Maynadier Murray of Annapolis, Maryland. The young women advance with garland and wreath toward a portrait bust of Dr. Upton Scott (1722-1814). Their gesture was not one of mourning; Scott was very much alive at the time and, in fact, Bouché executed the painting for him. In 1753, Scott, an Irish-born physician, had immigrated to Maryland, where he held a number of influential posts. His widely known royalist sympathies necessitated his residence abroad during the American Revolution, but he returned to Maryland in 1780.
This unusual painting not only honors the mutual regard between Scott and the Murray family, but also combines portraiture with aspects of genre and allegory and reflects French influence on the prevailing neoclassicism of post-Revolutionary Chesapeake Bay area culture.
In 1797, Sally Scott Murray married Edward Lloyd (1779-1834), the son of Edward Lloyd (1744-1796) and Elizabeth Tayloe Lloyd. In 1796, Ann Maria Murray married John Mason (1766-1849), the son of George Mason IV (1725-1792) and Ann Eilbeck Mason (?-1773).