Thomas Sully (1783-1872)
Thomas Sully (1783-1872)

Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery Blair: A Pair of Portraits

Thomas Sully (1783-1872)
Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery Blair: A Pair of Portraits
each, oil on canvas
each, 20 x 17 in. (50.8 x 43.8 cm.) (2)
The artist.
Montgomery and Mary Elizabeth Woodbury Blair, Washington, D.C., 1846.
Montgomery Blair II and Edith Draper, by descent, 1940.
Dr. Montgomery Blair Jr. and Deborah Mason Blair, by descent, 1944.
By descent to the present owner.

Lot Essay

Thomas Sully painted the present portraits of Montgomery Blair (1813-1883) and Mary Elizabeth Woodbury Blair (1821-1887) to commemorate the occasion of their marriage in 1846. Commissioned by the groom's father, Francis Preston Blair, the portraits were on display at the couple's residence in Washington, D.C., known as Blair House, from the time of their commission until 1942 when the house was purchased by the U.S. Government. The Blair House has since been the official residence for both foreign and domestic guests of the U.S. president.
Montgomery Blair served as United States District Attorney from 1839 to 1843, and later in the Court of Claims and was involved in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857. In 1854 the Blairs were founding members of the newly formed Republican Party, and played a decisive role in the campaign to elect Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. Montgomery Blair was thereafter appointed and served as Postmaster General in Lincoln's cabinet.

Related Articles

View all
Collecting guide: American Imp auction at Christies
Silver and gold: luxury holida auction at Christies
‘Frank Lloyd Wright is a movem auction at Christies

More from Fine American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture

View All
View All