Portrait of Floride Bonneau Colhoun (later Calhoun) (Mrs. John Ewing Colhoun)
This portrait likely was painted to commemorate Floride Bonneau’s marriage to U.S. Senator and South Carolina slave owner John Ewing Colhoun. Typical of many portraits made in regions beyond the reach of an established artist’s studio, Bonneau was painted by a self-taught itinerant artist. The artist emphasized individual, rather than idealized, characteristics. Bonneau, described as a “bushy-headed and keen-eyed lady with a mop of red hair,” would later become mother-in-law to the Southern secessionist John C. Calhoun.