Sight: 44 3/4 x 34 3/4 in. (113.7 x 88.3 cm)
Framed: 52 1/4 x 42 1/4 in. (132.7 x 107.3 cm)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
Joseph Byrns’ Speaker portrait was acquired by the House of Representatives in 1937. The artist, Sophonisba Hergesheimer, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Cecilia Beaux and William Merritt Chase. A portrait commission brought her to Nashville in 1907, in Byrns’ home state of Tennessee, and she remained there for the rest of her life. Known for her still life and landscape paintings as well as her portraits, Hergesheimer was a direct descendant of Charles Willson Peale. Following the Peale family tradition, she was named for a Renaissance painter, in her case, Italian artist Sophonisba Anguissola.