The fourth of James Peale’s six children, Anna, along with her siblings, studied painting with her father and uncle Charles Willson Peale. Anna was the first of James’ three artist daughters to paint professionally, traveling extensively along the Eastern seaboard executing commissioned miniature portraits. The focus of miniatures on the face rather than the body made them acceptable to the staid morality of 18th- and 19th-century Americans, and a suitable pursuit for women artists. The sentimental nature of the work, its small scale, and the patience required to execute such tiny paintings were seen as harmonious with the feminine temperament. In 1824, both Anna and her younger sister Sarah Miriam Peale were elected academicians of the Pennsylvania Academy, a rare honor for women at the time.
About 200 of Anna Claypoole Peale’s miniature portraits are known today. Madame Lallemand is one half of a pendant, or pair of portraits; Anna also painted a miniature of General Lallemand. With its airy brushwork, soft colors and light, this is typical of Anna’s miniature style.