Euphemia Van Rensselaer (1816–1888) was the daughter of Stephen Van Rensselaer (see 54.51) and the sister of Alexander Van Rensselaer (see 61.70). She was born on the family manor, Rensselaerswyck, near Albany, New York, and inherited a portion of her father's vast estate in 1839. This picture was painted in 1842, the year before her marriage to John Church Cruger, a prominent lawyer with whom she settled on Cruger's Island near Barrytown, New York. Healy painted the portrait in Paris, where he executed works for visiting Americans as well as for the French king, Louis Philippe. He blends both lavish detail and texture with a sensitive portrayal of character before a setting suggestive of the Roman campagna from which the sitter had just returned. The portrait, which shows the influence of the German-born painter Franz Xavier Winterhalter, demonstrates a stunning simplicity, grace, and vivacity rarely equalled in Healy's oeuvre.
Signature: [at lower right]: G. P. A. Healy Paris 1842
the sitter, died 1888; her daughter, Cornelia Cruger, by 1923