Portrait of Pay de Wandelaar, attributed to Pieter Vandelyn, about 1830
Pieter Vanderlyn is an intriguing artist because he refused to sign his art. His paintings were apparently all completed during the 1730-1745 time period, the time period during which his age ranged from about 43 to 58. He never signed any of his paintings, which suggests that he was essentially an amateur painter, who did not want to draw attention to himself as an artist. His art output was rather limited, which also supports the supposition, that he was an amateur and part time painter.
For an amateur, and apparently a part time painter, his work was quite good, so good in fact, that some of his paintings are exhibited in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Since he never signed his paintings, all of his paintings are attributed to him, or to his given name de plum, “The Gansevoort Limner”. And there is apparently reasonable agreement that Pieter Vanderlyn was the Gansevoort Limner, although there also is still considerable doubt, by some critics, about whether Vanderlyn was the Gansevoort Limner or not. The National Gallery of Art identifies paintings attributed to him as follows: The Gansevoort Limner [Possibly Pieter Vanderlyn].
Much of his art is owned by the Kingston, New York, Senate House Historical Site. The descendants of the portraits displayed there believe that Pieter Vanderlyn was the creator of the portraits. So that by itself provides a strong argument for the fact that Pieter Vanderlyn, and the Gansevoort Limner, are one and the same person. However, there probably will never be total assurance that the two names represent one and the same person.
In addition to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., other museums owning and exhibiting Vanderlyn’s works are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Newark Museum of Art in Newark, New Jersey, the New York Historical Society, the Serra Foundation for the Arts, and the Chrysler Museum of Art.
Pieter Vanderlyn was Dutch born, and came to the U.S.A. by way of the West Indies, in 1718. He settled in the Hudson River Valley, and apparently supported himself by land speculation, and other business enterprises. He lived in the area, bordered by Albany and Kingston, New York, and traveled frequently between these two cities.
Pieter Vanderlyn was married to a daughter of Petrus Vas, a Dutch clergyman, who served a congregation in Kingston, New York. Pieter’s grandson was John Vanderlyn [1776-1852], who also became a fairly well known painter. Pieter passed away in Shawangunk, New York in 1778, at the advanced age of 91.
Pieter Vanderlyn, http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/vanderlyn_pieter.html
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