Originally from a small town in New Hampshire, Hoit painted mostly in New England. But he made several trips to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, thereby influencing the development of the portrait genre in Canada. This canvas, one of the artist’s most accomplished Canadian works, focuses on the sitter’s personality rather than her social standing. Born in 1804, Johanna was the daughter of a British officer. In 1828 she married Robert Frazer Hazen, a young lawyer who was appointed mayor of Saint John in 1837.