Actor/theater manager, Thomas Wade West (1745-1799) arrived in America in 1790. He gathered a group of professional actors and successfully toured year round from Baltimore to Savannah. He built five theaters including those in Richmond VA and Charleston SC. He was married to actress Margareta. This miniature is signed "Sully 1795" and is identified as Thomas Wade West, the uncle of the artist.
Lawrence Sully specialized in miniature portraiture and painted subjects in Norfolk, Richmond, and Charleston during his short career in the United States.