Girl of the Bangs-Phelps Family

Erastus Salisbury Field American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 732

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.

Girl of the Bangs-Phelps Family, Erastus Salisbury Field (1805–1900), Oil on canvas, American

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