Martha Crane Heath and Jennie Wilson Heath of Newark, New Jersey, are depicted in their double portrait in an Arcadian landscape. The elder child, in pink, married Samuel Horace Hawes, a coal dealer and spent the remainder of her days as a Richmond matron.
Arcadia is a mountainous region in Greece. Due to its inaccessibility, Arcadia was isolated in the ancient classical period, and its people lived a pastoral life. Western
European Classicism in the 17th century revived this love of nature and the simple life, which continued to be celebrated in mid 19th century America where young cities like Richmond were viewed as “a new Arcadia.”