Over a fifty-year career that included early training with Samuel F. B. Morse, Field became one of the most successful itinerant painters in antebellum New England and New York State. He developed a repertoire of compositional formulas to depict the features and surroundings of his sitters, who belonged to the emerging rural middle class. Field’s portrait of a female member of the Bangs-Phelps family of Springfield, Massachusetts, presents her wearing an oversized, nicely detailed costume and holding a book in her right hand. The background is a soft gray color, with Field’s distinctive shaded halo of space encircling the skillfully modeled face and sharply parted hair.
the Phelps family, Springfield, Massachusetts, until 1956; with Peter Kostoff, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1957; Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, Cambridge, Maryland, 1957–1963