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Portrait of Deborah Glen [later, Mrs. John Sanders](1721-1786)

ca. 1739
Origin: America, New York, Albany, area of
Other (unframed): 57 1/2 x 35 3/8in. (146.1 x 89.9cm) Framed: 63 3/4 x 41 11/16 x 2 3/8in. (161.9 x 105.9 x 6cm)
Oil on canvas
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1964.100.1
A full-length portrait of a standing young woman who faces the viewer nearly directly. Her figure nearly fills the available space. She wears a dress embroidered with an overall pattern of flowering, twining vines, the elbow-length sleeves with blue turned-back cuffs revealing sheer white ruffled shift sleeves beneath. The dress is open down the front to the waist, with red lacing over the white stomacher, the opening turned back to reveal a blue lining as with the cuffs. The dress is fitted to the wearer's natural waistline. Over her dress, she wears a sheer white apron with embroidered edges, secured in front with the end of the apron string dangling front and center. Her hair is dark, her eyes brown, her shoes red with curved heels and a vamp seam. In her upraised proper right hand, she holds a red-pink rose, while three other such blooms decorated a green wreath grapsed in her down-hanging proper left hand. A distant view of fields, blue mountains, and pink-tinted sky fills much of the left side of the picture, while very dark foliage fills the right.

The 3 3/4-inch molded, black-painted frame is original.
Label:Deborah Glen was the only child of Colonel Jacob Glen and Sara Wendell. Her father had large landholdings in the Albany area and an estate, Scotia. Deborah belonged to a wealthy family that patronized several portrait painters at an early date. Deborah married John Sanders in 1739, and they had four children. Family history indicates that Deborah's likeness was painted at the time of her wedding, a suggestion that might account for her elaborate dress. It is clear that this picture was meant to impress and record for posterity the formal aspects of lifestyle and material wealth that the Glens enjoyed. The portrait descended in the Glen-Sanders family until its acquisition by Colonial Williamsburg in 1964.
Provenance:Descended in the Glen-Sanders family of Scotia, NY.