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The Money Diggers

John Quidor

American Art

Early ethnic stereotypes animate this painting based on one of the American author Washington Irving’s raucous stories of life in colonial New York. In this scene from “The Adventure of the Black Fisherman,” three money-mad characters hunt for treasure supposed to have been buried in a Dutch New York cemetery at the time of the British takeover. In painting the miserly Dutchman, the sinister German sorcerer, and the superstitious black fisherman who led the group to the spot, John Quidor followed Irving’s descriptions exactly, down to the green lenses in Dr. Knipperhausen’s glasses.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1832
DIMENSIONS 15 15/16 x 20 15/16 in. (40.5 x 53.2 cm) frame: 23 x 28 1/8 x 3 1/4 in. (58.4 x 71.4 x 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed right center: "J. Quidor Pinxt / N. York June, 1832."
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair Bradley Martin
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION John Quidor (American, 1801–1881). The Money Diggers, 1832. Oil on canvas, 15 15/16 x 20 15/16 in. (40.5 x 53.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair Bradley Martin, 48.171 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 48.171_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 48.171_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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