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Deborah Hall

William Williams

American Art

These two full-length portraits were painted in two colonial American cities— Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Lima, Peru. Despite that distance, they share a formality of pose and an emphasis on fine costume, grand setting, and symbolic details that reveal their common source in European portrait models. The enclosed gardens, for example, suggest the chaste purity of the sitters.

The two portraitists practiced under dramatically different circumstances. The Lima painter operated within a guild, modeled on Hispanic royal tradition. The guild specialized in religious art for the Catholic churches in what was then the viceregal capital city of Peru. The selftaught Philadelphia painter served a more modest market (in this case the Quaker community), whose wealth and social ambitions paled in comparison to their South American counterparts.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1766
DIMENSIONS 71 3/8 x 46 3/8 in. (181.3 x 117.8 cm) frame: 78 1/2 x 53 1/4 x 2 1/2 in. (199.4 x 135.3 x 6.4 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "Wm. Williams 1766"
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION William Williams (American, 1727-1791, active in America 1746-1776). Deborah Hall, 1766. Oil on canvas, 71 3/8 x 46 3/8 in. (181.3 x 117.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 42.45 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.45_SL3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 42.45_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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