Pau Gansevoort (1725-1809), or Pau de Wandelaer (1713-after 1763)

Attributed to Pieter Vanderlyn (1687-1778) Artist
1730-1740 Date:
Oil on canvas Medium
44 3/4 H x 35 1/4 W Dimensions
Gift of Catherine Gansevoort Lansing Credit
x1940.600.28 Accession number

The identity of the boy in this portrait was long believed to be Pieter ("Pau" was a diminutive nickname for Pieter) de Wandelaer, however, recent research has more strongly suggested Pau Gansevoort as the sitter. Gansevoort was a doctor who studied medicine with a Boston physician and later held "the reputation of a classical scholar," an unusual avocation for mid-eighteenth-century Albany. The subject is believed to have been between seventeen and twenty-seven years old, and is dressed in a common early-eighteenth century style with a homespun jerkin (jacket). A native goldfinch perches on his hand, and the landscape behind him features the Hudson River and a work yacht flying the British Union Jack flag. Based on similarities in the painting style, this is one of about twenty portraits attributed to the "Gansevoort Limner," who one scholar has identified as Pieter Vanderlyn.

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