By Peter Fedoryk, WPAMC Class of 2021
Sitting directly in front of Catharine, I know she isn’t looking at me. She’s looking over my shoulder, when she was being painted, at James. He (James Peale) was probably standing a little behind me and to my left. I can tell from the way her pupils rise a touch higher in her eyes than they need to be to see me. Some portraits stare at you wherever you are, but not Catharine—her attention is fixed on someone else.
Catharine was born Catharine Bicking, then became Catharine Reynolds when she married John Reynolds; after he died, she became Catharine Kuhn when she remarried to John Kuhn. I know this because she wrote it down, or someone else wrote it down, and some third-party-else decided it was worth keeping.