Mary Stedman Clark de l'Aigle Portrait
Thomas Casilear Cole (possibly)
1900 to 1922
Large rectangular painting (probably oil) on canvas of Mary Stedman Clark de l'Aigle. She is depicted in her old age with silver curly hair covered by a long, white head scarf and tails that flow down to her chest. She is depicted with a red curtain backdrop flowing from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. In the middle right side of the painting is a flat landscape with the colors of a setting sun on the horizon.
She is wearing the head scarf, a large black cloak, fingerless black gloves, her wedding ring, and a cameo necklace of a young woman at her neckline. It appears that she is seated and she is working with a set of knitting needles while a yellowish ball of yarn sits in her lap.
Mary Stedman Clark de l'Aigle (born June 4, 1840 in Augusta; died July 5, 1922 in Wilmington, NC). She married Louis Nicholas de l'Aigle, grandson of Nicolas de l'Aigle. Louis was born on August 9, 1830 and died at the age of 38 on March 17, 1858. They had four daughters (only two lived to adulthood) before he died and she never remarried.
Mary Clark de l'Aigle was involved in the last duel fought by a Georgian. To read about this duel fought for her honor, read the AMH's painting entry for Charles Dawson Tilley.
The painting is floating in a gold, gessoed wood frame. On the back is written in large, black ink in block lettering "Painted by Thomas Casilear Cole" although no artist's signature can be seen on the painting's surface. At the base of the frame is a golden plaque attached that reads " Mary Clark de l'Aigle / In Whose Memory / This Building Was Erected".
This painting was formerly displayed with several other family portraits in the Sexton's Lodge of Magnolia Cemetery. Louise de l'Aigle Seyd Reese, daughter of Mary Clark de l'Aigle, funded the construction of the Sexton's Lodge in honor of her de l'Aigle (DeLaigle) family.
Donated by the Augusta-Richmond County Government at the request of the DeLaigle family.