spacer Elizabeth Washington Gamble Wirt Elizabeth Washington Gamble Wirt

Elizabeth Washington Gamble, daughter of Robert and Catherine Gamble of Richmond, became William Wirt's second wife in 1802. They purchased a house in Richmond in 1808 about when these portraits were painted. Originally in the rectangular format typical of Cephas Thompson's work, the paintings were later trimmed to their present oval shape and reframed. By 1809 the Wirt family included three children (three others had died); eventually there would be ten siblings. Elizabeth Wirt's manuscript of favorite quotations about flowers was published anonymously as Flora's Dictionary in 1829. Later editions identified the author as "Mrs. E. W. Wirt of Virginia."

Cephas Thompson (1775-1856)
Oil on canvas, circa 1809-1810
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Enlarged image

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