49 3/4 x 31 3/4 in. (126.4 x 80.6 cm)
Framed: 66 x 48 x 5 1/4 in. (167.6 x 121.9 x 13.3 cm)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
Nathaniel Banks posed for artist Robert Vonnoh in 1887, although the portrait reflects the sitter’s appearance during his service in the House, 30 years prior. The work dates from early in Vonnoh’s career —he went on to achieve great success as a celebrated landscape and portrait painter, as well as a gifted teacher. As a teacher, Vonnoh is credited with spreading modern European style in the United States. The dark palette, loose brushwork, and the subject’s frank address of the viewer suggest inspiration from the late French realists at this early stage of his career.