This is one of the six portraits of his eldest children James Beekman (1732-1807) commissioned from John Durand in the 1760s. Catharine Beekman, nicknamed Caty, is shown at age five holding a bird, a common household pet in colonial America and perhaps the bird James purchased for his wife in 1764. That the young girl could train a bird to perch on her hand was a sign of her exceptional character. Caty also fingers the stem of a potted flowering plant placed on an architectural pediment, a pose strikingly similar to that of the Duchess of Bolton, as depicted in a popular engraving of the time. According to her father
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
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