"Lizzie Neigh Weir" by William C. A. Frerichs William C. A. Frerichs (1829–1905)
Lizzie Leigh Weir
Oil on printed fabric (ticking)
54 x 45 inches
Gift of the Robert Powell Coggins Art Trust; 1993.CXXX11

Although Dutch-born artist William C. A. Frerichs painted portraits of many prominent Southerners he became widely respected for his landscape paintings of North Carolina mountains. This portrait of Lizzie Leigh Weir demonstrates Frerichs's ability to depict a romantic landscape. The young girl stands in an idyllic setting, holding soft pink flowers in her hands, and wearing a wreath of the same in her hair. Her pastel blue dress contrasts with the dark green and brown flora, or trees and bushes, surrounding her. The pale blue of her dress is mirrored by the mountains far in the distance. The playfulness and innocence of Lizzie is emphasized by the curious dog that stands at her side.

While it is unknown who Lizzie Leigh Weir might have been, oral history seems to indicate that she may have been the daughter of the president of Greensboro Female College. The college's former president, Dr. Robert Deems, was a close friend of Frerichs and his wife, and he visited the Frerichs family once they had moved to New York to flee the turmoil of the Civil War.