Mrs. John Peyre (Margaret Cantey)
Artist DetailsName: Henry Benbridge
Birth: 1743 Death: 1812
Artwork DetailsDate of Work: ca. 1776
Period: 18th Century
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 29 7/8 x 24 7/8 inches
Credit: Gift of the Estate of Elizabeth L. Porcher
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) was a native of Philadelphia. He was an accomplished portraitist in oil on canvas, as well as a successful miniaturist. His early portraits reveal the influence of the English painter John Wollaston. In Rome 1765-1769, the young Benbridge studied old masters, learned glazing techniques and was exposed to the High Baroque style of Anton Mengs and Pompeo Batoni. Apparently, he never devoted much attention to drawing or the study of anatomy. After spending half of 1770 in London, where he was associated with Benjamin West, Benbridge returned to Philadelphia and remained there two years. Around 1772 Benbridge moved to Charleston, followed in 1773 by his wife Hetty Sage (Esther), also a miniature painter.
Born in St. Johns Parish, Berkeley County, South Carolina, Margaret Cantey was the daughter of Charles and Harriett Drake Cantey. Her father was member of the Royal Assembly, a member of the Provincial Congress and General Assembly, and was justice of the peace for Craven County. Margaret married John Peyre on 25 April 1776, but had no children. They owned a plantation on the Santee River. She died in Bastown Springs, New York.