Baroness Ann-Marguerite Hyde de Neuville


(c. 1749– 1849),
a Frenchwoman, created some 200 pencil and watercolor sketches of American life. Straightforward, balanced, and aesthetically pleasing, they depict a growing,optimistic new nation; provide early realistic portrayals of Native Americans; and augment the memoirs of her husband, Baron Jean-Guillaume Hyde de Neuville.The couple first lived in America in 1807–1813, after the baron was implicated in a royalist plot and exiled by Napoleon I; at this time they toured upstate New York. During their second stay, 1816–1822, the baron was the French ambassador; they bought a farm in New Brunswick, New Jersey, but lived in Baltimoreand then Washington, D.C. The baroness (who, according to the writer, Jadviga M. da Costa Nunez, may have had some instruction in drawing) sketched placeswhere she visited or lived. She made elegant drawings of official buildings in Washington, such as “The White House with State, War, and Treasury Buildings”
(1820); she shows domestic architecture, trees, picket fences, and people at work and leisure.Her work is at the New York Historical Society; Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum (Williamsburg, Virginia); Hagley Museum (Wilmington, Delaware);and Museum of Fine Arts, Karolik Collection (Boston, Massachusetts). An exhibition, “Baroness Hyde de Neuville: Sketches of America, 1807–1822,” wascosponsored by the New York Historical Society and Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (1984–1985).

Fenton, William. “The Hyde de Neuville Portraits of New York Savages in 1807–1808.”
New-York Historical Quarterly,
vol. 38, (April 1954): 130. Nunez, Jadviga M. da Costa, and Ferris Olin.
Baroness Hyde de Neuville: Sketches of America, 1807–1822.
New Brunswick, N.J., 1984