Hester Bayard

John Wollaston Anglo-American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 713

Wollaston was one of several painters who introduced rococo portraiture to the American colonies. His arrival in New York in the spring of 1749 introduced this new style of portraiture to the region characterized by rich, brightly colored fabrics and sprightly, informal poses. His bust length portraits of John and Hester Bayard Van Cortland may have been commissioned at the time of their marriage which took place on November 9, 1749. Both came from prominent New York families who engaged in the coastal trade of sugar and rum. They were also involved in the West Indian slave trade. Wollaston has taken care to render the details of their fashionable attire, and painted pleasing likenesses of his subjects

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