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Wyntje (Lavinia) Van Vechten

Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge

American Art

Portraits of Pan-American Privilege

These women’s ancestors were among the first European colonizers of the Americas. Some of those colonists crossed the Atlantic to serve the global ambitions of the various crowns of Europe, and others came as economic and religious refugees from Spain, England, and the Dutch Republic. By the eighteenth century, fabulous fortunes had been amassed throughout the region, reflected here in the European-inspired dress and jewelry worn by three privileged Americans.

Miguel Cabrera, eighteenth-century Mexico’s premier painter, portrayed Doña María de la Luz wearing imported silk brocade and five chiqueadores, or glued false beauty spots. Boston’s leading portraitist, John Singleton Copley, painted the monarchist Abigail Pickman Gardiner sporting an uncorseted dress—probably the artist’s invention, since the style was considered inappropriate in New England society but was the height of London fashion. The Hudson Valley portraitist Nehemiah Partridge captured Wyntje Van Vechten’s likeness with more restraint, emphasizing her simple hairstyle, minimal jewelry, and modest dress.
MEDIUM Oil on linen
DATES 1720
DIMENSIONS 40 3/16 x 34 9/16 in. (102 x 87.8 cm) frame: 49 3/16 x 43 9/16 x 2 1/4 in. (124.9 x 110.6 x 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed lower right: "Etas. Su[e] / 18- / 172[0]"
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge (American, 1683–before 1737). Wyntje (Lavinia) Van Vechten, 1720. Oil on linen, 40 3/16 x 34 9/16 in. (102 x 87.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 43.36 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 43.36_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 43.36_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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