Original Author: Unknown artist; John Hesselius, copy portraitist
Created: 1697, original; 1751, copy
Medium: Oil on canvas
William Fitzhugh, a successful lawyer, politician, and land owner in colonial Virginia, is the subject of this copy portrait made in 1751 by John Husselius. The Virginia Historical Society, which owns the portrait, describes it as follows:
This striking, powerful image is one of the most important to survive from early America. It records William Fitzhugh (1651-1701) in 1697, at age forty-six, when his prominent position in Virginia society was well established. It demonstrates that John Hesselius, who signed the work on the back, was extremely talented as a copyist.