Painting of Sarah (Gibbons) DeWolf

Painting of Sarah Gibbons DeWolf

Item: Oil painting
Subject: Sarah (Gibbons) DeWolf
Event: Not applicable
Location: Not known
Date: ca. 1840-1848
Creator: Not known
Donor: Paul Gibb
Alterations: Cropped a digital photo of the original painting
Adjusted brightness
Comments: This painting belongs to Sarah (Gibbons) DeWolf's great-great-great-grandson, Paul Gibb. Family tradition, in two different branches of the family, holds that the subject of this painting is Sarah (Gibbons) DeWolf. In Paul's family, which held the painting, Sarah was said to be the sitter; in a collateral branch, which held a photograph of the painting, Sarah was also labeled as the subject. This tradition is confirmed indirectly by the settlement of her husband Joseph DeWolf's estate in 1846, which included, as part of an allowance to the widow, "A Picture of the widow." Margaret (King) DeWolf most likely cared for her mother-in-law Sarah after Joseph's death, and her daughter Frances (DeWolf) Allen definitely cared for Margaret after Margaret's husband Samuel died; Frances was Paul's great-grandmother. Thus was the painting most likely passed down in this family.
   The subject's dress and bonnet date this painting to the 1840s. However, this portrait may have been painted by an itinerant portrait painter, a common practice at that time. The painter would travel with partially painted canvases, with the dress, for instance, already painted in. Th en he would simply add facial features and hair. Therefore, the subject's clothing cannot positively date the picture, since it could have been painted on an earlier canvas. In this case, though, the sitter's apparent advanced age, combined with her known death at the age of 83 in 1848, confirm a date in the 1840s.
Transcription: Not applicable