Maria Carter Tucker

Maria Carter Tucker
Watercolor on Ivory
in gilded copper locket
with plaited hair on reverse
Thomas Sully
Richmond, Virginia
ca. 1805
Gift of Mrs. E. Rhodes Johnston
1981
A granddaughter of Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis, Maria Carter married George Tucker in 1802. Shortly after, she sat for her portrait by Thomas Sully. Dubbed "the prince of American painters" by a contemporary, Sully painted more than 2,000 portraits.

At age 35, Maria wrote in her journal:

"Until my twelfth year I resided with my excellent Grandmother [Betty Washington Lewis]…She was a woman of practical piety, and to her early lessons and admirable example I owe [much]…Placed in that happy medium between poverty and wealth-my youth glided away unmarked by an incident worth of record except the friendship early formed for Eleanor Parke Custis, the granddaughter of Aunt Washington and beloved protégée of the General."