OVERTON, Jesse Maxwell

Bust length oval, dressed in black with white tie and waistcoat. The sitter has hazel eyes and straight brown hair parted. The background is mottled black to mottled red. Oil on canvas, 23×19.5 ins, signed ‘A Muller Ury’ lower right.

Private Collection (See: Tennessee Portrait Project of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Tennessee and Tennessee State Museum Foundation).

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The sitter was born in Pulaski, Tennessee on 25th July 1863 and died 16th December 1922. He and his wife Saidee had three children, Elizabeth Williams Overton (1893-1968), John William Overton (1894-1918), and Harriet Virginia Maxwell Overton (1897-1975).

The sitter came from Overton Hall, Nashville, Tennessee, a house he had built on Franklin Pike in 1900 in Tudor manor-house style on 3600 acres of land granted to his great-grandfather Jesse Maxwell for services in the revolutionary war and known as the Travellers’s Rest Plantation (it was sold in 1925, renamed Crieve Hall, but demolished in the 1950s). Town and Country of November 17, 1903 reported that after returning from Europe a month before he ‘has been to Tennessee to finish a portrait of one of the Society leaders of the South.’

Town Topics, May 7, 1903, implies that Muller-Ury only painted Mr. Overton.

Restored by Sandor Bodo in the 1980s.