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Pierre Van Cortlandt
Accession # 41.151
Culture American
Title Pierre Van Cortlandt
Date ca. 1731
Medium Oil on linen
Dimensions 57 x 41 9/16 in. (144.8 x 105.5 cm) frame: 63 3/4 x 48 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (161.9 x 123.2 x 8.3 cm)
Signed Unsigned
Credit Line Dick S. Ramsay Fund
Location American Identities: Colony to Nation / Inventing American Landscape

Curatorial Remarks: The artist of these full-length portraits based the elaborate backdrops, and details such as the poses and the animals, on British royal portrait prints (see illustration) that decorated colonial homes. The pictorial link between the Van Cortlandt brothers, who were born into one of the city’s wealthiest Dutch families, and British nobility suggested their great promise. Although information about John, who died in his twenties, is scarce, Pierre inherited vast properties north of Manhattan and became an ardent patriot during the Revolutionary War.