During the decade of the seventies I lived across the street from an elderly woman, a Southern lady who was in her mid-eighties, and we enjoyed a gin and tonic on her back porch from time to time. One afternoon, as the conversation lapsed, and after a long pause, she sighed and said: “I just can’t believe it.” And after waiting, when she said nothing more, I asked: “What, Mrs. Taylor?” "“Why, my age !"
She gave me this painting of the lady with the beard. She said it was from her home in Holly Springs, Mississippi. It’s the home she shared with her parents, both doctors, and she, an only child. Her childhood home was used as Gen. Grant’s headquarters during the American Civil War.
Frequently, guests to Casa Mexilio, who are from the world of art, recognise the portrait as a work by George Caleb Bingham. Who knows ? Maybe, it is.