Born in Sweden, Adolph Ulrich Wertmuller (1751-1811) studied painting in Stockholm, Rome and Paris, where he painted members of Europe's aristocracy. In 1794, he moved to Philadelphia, then the nation's capitol, where he painted several members of Congress and George Washington. After a four-year sojourn in Sweden, he moved back to America in 1800. He had married Betsey Henderson, the grand-daughter of the Swedish painter, Gustavus Hesselius (1682-1755) and the couple lived upon their farm, "Claymont," in Newcastle, County, Delaware (Scott, "A Forgotten Artist--Adolph Wertmuller" (1964); Groce and Wallace, The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1860 (New Haven, 1957), pp. 673-674).
The painting's cradled panel indicates European restoration and it is believed that the painting was acquired in Sweden by its early twentieth-century owner, Ira Nelson Morris (1875-1942) while he was minister plenipotentiary to Sweden under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.