Mrs. Williams of New York,
lifedates unknown
This is a rare example of the most costly form of portraiture that Brady produced in the late 1850s. In this case, a colorist applied oil pigment to the surface of an Imperial photograph and embellished the background, adding furniture and flowers. To some contemporary critics, these images proved photography's importance to traditional painted portraiture. "The painter can produce a picture that will please the eye and flatter the mind; but the photographer can do more, he can please the heart. He should not, however
. . . stop . . . until he has done both."

Mathew Brady Studio Imperial salt print with added color, circa 1860
49.5 x 39.5 cm (19 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches); 29 x 23 inches framed
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
on deposit from Harvard College Library; bequest of Evert Jansen Wendell