Skip Navigation

Deborah Hall

William Williams

American Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830, 5th Floor
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"
COLLECTIONS American Art
ACCESSION NUMBER 42.45
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
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
IMAGE overall, 42.45_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (91%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.