Nelly and Lawrence Lewis

Lawrence Lewis
Oil on canvas
John Beale Bordley II
Audley, Frederick County
Virginia, 1841
Gift of Edward Gay Butler
1953
In 1841, John Beale Bordley, a highly respected portrait painter copied this pair of portraits depicting Lawrence Lewis and his wife Eleanor Parke Custis. The couple had sat for the originals almost ten years earlier in 1832. In October of that year, Nelly wrote to her close friend, Elizabeth Beale Bordley, the artist's aunt, describing the portraits:

"…he has almost completed a speaking likeness of Mr. L for Lorenzo [Lawrence and Nelly's son] and tomorrow I sit for mine….We are all so much pleased with Mr. L's likeness, it is most admirable."

 

 

Nelly Parke Custis Lewis
Oil on canvas
John Beale Bordley II
Audley, Frederick County
Virginia, 1841
Gift of Edward Gay Butler
1953
Eleanor (Nelly) Parke Custis Lewis (1779-1852) was the daughter of John Parke Custis and Eleanor Calvert Custis, and the granddaughter of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington by her marriage to Daniel Parke Custis. After her father died in 1781, Nelly was raised by George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Nelly married Lawrence Lewis in 1799. The couple lived at Woodlawn, near Mount Vernon.