Lucy Randolph Burwell by Matthew Pratt, ca. 1773
Lucy Randolph Burwell (1744-1802) belonged to one of the wealthiest families and so posed in an elegant gown and headdress of the latest style. She plays a string instrument but does so idly, a fashionable accomplishment rather than a passion. Virginia’s ruling elite had intermarried for a century, and Lucy Randolph maintained this tradition by marrying Lewis Burwell of Kengsmill plantation in James City County when she was twenty. The portrait was painted ca. 1773, probably by Matthew Pratt.