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

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

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.