Skip to Content
Closed today, next open tomorrow. Closed today, next open tomorrow.

Portrait of a Woman

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on canvas.




John Wollaston
American, born England, c. 1710–c. 1775

About this artwork

An established portrait painter in England, John Wollaston came to the American colonies to ply his trade in 1749. For the next three years, Wollaston worked in New York, executing numerous portraits for area sitters eager to acquire quality likenesses from a skilled, European-trained artist—a rarity in mid-18th-century America. Wollaston rendered his figures with convincing modeling and forms, excelling in the depiction of colorful draperies. In Portrait of a Woman, as in his other works of the time, the artist employed formulaic poses, gestures, and dress, a result, in part, of looking to English sources for portraiture, but also a means of meeting the many requests for commissions. Beginning in 1753, Wollaston painted in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina.


On View, Gallery 166


Arts of the Americas


John Wollaston


Portrait of a Woman


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1749–1752


Oil on canvas


Inscribed on stretcher, handwritten: "MRS. REBECCA BEEKMAN AFTERWARD THE WIFE OF GENERAL SPRY"


132.6 × 107.2 cm (52 3/16 × 42 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Goodman Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions