Elsie Rutgers Schuyler (Mrs. Petrus) Vas (1674-after 1752)
Attributed to Gerardus I. Duyckinck (1695-1746)
Oil on canvas
44 H x 35 W
Inscribed lower left: Aetatis. 49/1723
Gift of Dorothy Treat Arnold Cogswell, Jr.
Elsie Rutgers Schuyler Vas's father was a brewer and trader with the Native Americans, but she married into one of Albany's most prominent families, the Schuylers, and they had five children together. After Pieter Schuyler's death, she remarried, this time to Dominie Vas. This portrait was painted the year after her second marriage, and is surrounded by its original imported gilt frame. Her headdress is called a kuif, a covering often worn by widows and matrons. Because it is white, the portrait was probably painted in the summer (in winter, women wore black velvet kuifs.). The same careful delineation, delicate modeling, and broad expanses of color are found in the portraits of other family members done by the same artist.