Pinkie is the traditional title for a portrait of 1794 by Thomas Lawrence in the permanent collection of The Huntington at San Marino, California where it hangs opposite The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough. These two works are the centerpieces of the institute's art collection, which specializes in 18th-century English portraiture. The painting is an elegant depiction of Sarah Barrett Moulton, who was about eleven years old when painted. Her direct gaze and the loose, highly-movemented brushwork give the portrait a lively immediacy.
Sarah Goodin Barrett Moulton was born on 22 March 1783, in Little River, St. James's, Jamaica. She was the only daughter and eldest of the four children of Charles Moulton, a merchant from Madeira, and his wife Elizabeth. Sarah was baptised on 29 May 1783, bearing the names Sarah Goodin Barrett in honour of her aunt, also named Sarah Goodin Barrett, who had died as an infant in 1781. She was a descendant of Hersey Barrett, who had arrived in Jamaica in 1655 with Oliver Cromwell and by 1783, the Barretts were wealthy landowners, slave owners, and exporters of sugar cane and rum.] Inside her family, she was called Pinkie or Pinkey.
By the time Sarah was six, her father had left the family and her mother was left to raise the children, Sarah and her brothers Edward (1785–1857) and Samuel (1787–1837), with the help of her relatives. In September 1792, Sarah and her brothers sailed to England in order to get a better education. Sarah was sent to Mrs Fenwick's school at Flint House, Greenwich, along with other children from Jamaican colonial families.
One year later, on 23 April 1795, Sarah died at Greenwich, aged 12. A letter from her grandmother, dated 6 November 1794, mentions her recent recovery from a cough, which may have contributed to her death. She was buried on 30 April 1795 in the doctor's vault under the parish church of St Alfege, Greenwich.
She was the only Moulton child to die in childhood. Her portrait by Lawrence was placed on display in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1795, which opened the day after her burial. The picture remained in the family's possession until 1910, passing at one point to Sarah's brother, Edward. Sarah's niece was the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.