DUYCKINCK, GERARDUS, I
is the best known of several limners (and stained-glass glaziers) in this New York City family, which included his grandfather Evert (1621–c. 1703), his father, Gerrit(1660–c. 1710), his cousin Evert III (1677–c. 1725), and his son Gerardus Jr. (1723–1797). As with the Vanderlyn family of limners, talent and experience passedthrough several generations.Duyckinck was probably trained by his father and then by his older cousin Evert. In 1713 he signed and dated a scripture history painting,
The Naming of John the Baptist,
the only signed example to be found among early New York paintings. This painting, produced when he was eighteen years of age, may represent his“masterwork” and the proof of his apprenticeship training. When this signed painting was discovered in 1978, by art dealer Richard H.Love, further “detective work”led art experts to identify other paintings by the same artist. Art historian James Flexner first identified the group of portraits (which he ascribed to the “De Peyster”limner) that Waldron Phoenix Belknap Jr. subsequently connected to Gerardus Duyckinck I. Mary C.Black (1923–1992) later confirmed the attribution of the worksto Duyckinck. More than twenty other scripture history paintings as well as more than forty portraits have since been attributed to the artist. The painter’s closerelations to certain sitters also helped experts discover that Duyckinck was indeed the painter of many early portraits.Gerardus Duyckinck’s early works, such as the signed scripture history painting and portraits of his parents, show the influence of his cousin Evert’s style, with their softly modeled and elongated faces and their simply drafted bodies and clothing. By the 1720s, Duyckinck’s portraits and scripture paintings displayed more polishedfeatures and modeling as well as a richer palette of colors. His portraits were usually inspired by mezzotint prints based on English court portraits, which he, as an artsupply dealer, had readily available to show prospective patrons. This mature style continued for the last twenty years of his life. His son Gerardus II succeeded him asan art supply dealer and limner, and although no paintings by him have been identified, a recently discovered bill does substantiate that he, like his father, painted portraits.
Mary Childs Black; Dutch Scripture History Paintings; Religious Folk Art; Pierter Vanderlyn
The Albany Institute of History and Art.
Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609–1776.
Albany, N.Y., 1988.Belknap, Waldron Phoenix.
American Colonial Painting: Materials for a History.
Cambridge, Mass., 1959.Black, Mary C.
Rivers, Bowery, Mill, and Beaver.
New York, 1974.Blackburn, Roderic H., and Nancy Kelley, eds.
Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America.
Albany, N.Y., 1987.Flexner, James Thomas.
First Flowers of Our Wilderness: American Painting, the Colonial Period.
New York, 1969.Piwonka, Ruth.
A Portrait of Livingston Manor, 1686–1850.
New York, 1986.Piwonka, Ruth, and Roderic H.Blackburn.
A Remnant in the Wilderness: New York Dutch Scripture History Painting of the Early Eighteenth Century.
Albany, N.Y.,1980.Quimby, Ian M.G., ed.
American Painting to 1776, A Reappraisal.
Charlottesville, Va., 1971.Wheeler, Robert, and Janet R.MacFarlane.
Hudson Valley Painters.
Albany, N.Y., 1959
DUYCKINCK, GERARDUS, I