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Va. historic area acquires 18th-century portrait

Friday - 8/17/2012, 2:08am  ET

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - Colonial Williamsburg says it is adding an important Southern 18th-century portrait to its collection.

The historic area says the painting by Swiss-born Jeremiah Theus was purchased at auction. Theus was portraiture in Charleston, S.C., from 1740 to 1774.

The 1759 portrait of Elizabeth Allen Deas is the third Theus portrait added to Colonial Williamsburg's collection. It is believed to be painted at the time of her marriage to John Deas.

Paintings and sculpture curator Barbara Luck says no collection of Southern American portraits can be considered complete without one or more examples of Theus's work.

Officials say much of his success was due to his talent for addressing wealthy South Carolinians' ideals regarding self-imagery.

The portrait will be included in an upcoming exhibition, "Arts of South," opening in 2013.

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