Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mrs. Marinus Willett and Her Son Marinus, Jr.

Artist:
John Vanderlyn (American, Kingston, New York 1775–1852 Kingston, New York)
Date:
ca. 1802
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
36 7/8 x 28 1/8 in. (93.7 x 71.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of George Willett Van Nest, 1916
Accession Number:
17.87.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
The earliest American painter to train in Paris, John Vanderlyn learned well the lessons of French neo-classical painting and executed the finest portraits of his career just after his return home to New York. The commission to paint Margaret Bancker (1774-1867) and her toddler son probably came through Vanderlyn's patron, the statesman Aaron Burr, who was friendly with her husband, Colonel Marinus Willett (1740–1830; 17.87.1). Miss Bancker was Willett's third wife and the boy, named for his father, was born in 1801, the first of their five children. Vanderlyn's fascination with France can also be witnessed in his "Panorama of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles," also in the Museum's collection (52.184).
Mrs. Marinus Willett, New York, died 1867; her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Edward M. Willett, New York, died 1875; probably her husband, died 1888; his grandnephew, George Willett Van Nest, New York, died 1916
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