Portrait of Anna Dorothea Finney

John Hesselius (1728/29–1778)

ca. 1758

Oil on canvas

Gift of Sewell C. Biggs; 1992.17

Anna Dorothea Finney (1735–1817) was a wealthy resident of New Castle, Delaware, and this portrait of her may have commemorated an arranged marriage to her first cousin, John Finney. American-born artist John Hesselius, it appears, was heavily influenced by the fashionable portraiture trends of the preceding 50 years in England and France. These trends include the sitter’s “almond-shaped” eyes, a portrait convention that was popular during the reign of Queen Anne (1702–14). Miss Finney’s richly textured, silk-and-satin dress also speaks of the day’s fashion.