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Portrait of Miss Henrietta Sprigg

Robert Field, American (born England), 1769 - 1819

Made in United States, North and Central America

c. 1795

Watercolor on ivory

3 3/4 x 3 inches (9.5 x 7.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 296, European Art 1500-1850, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shanis and Mr. and Mrs. Harris Stern in memory of Jeannette Stern Whitebook Lasker, 2000

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Born in London, Robert Field studied drawing at the Royal Academy of Arts. In 1794 he left England for the United States, where he painted sophisticated miniatures of prominent citizens of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Boston before moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1808. He probably painted Miss Henrietta Sprigg of "Strawberry Hill," Annapolis, Maryland, in April 1795, when both sitter and artist were in Baltimore.

Additional information:
  • PublicationGifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Worn as pendants and bracelets, carried within a pocket, or hung in a cabinet, portrait miniatures were prized for their likenesses of family members, friends, and loved ones as well as for their minute size, precious materials, and skillful execution. The anniversary gift of a remarkable group of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century miniatures assembled by Jeannette B. S. Whitebook Lasker forms a prominent addition to the Museum’s collection, contributing works in innovative and challenging techniques by leading artists.

    Miss Henrietta Sprigg of Strawberry Hill near Annapolis, Maryland, was painted in a large oval miniature by Robert Field shortly after he arrived from England in 1794. Set against a sweeping red curtain with a pillar and clouds in the background, she has a youthful, fresh expression that demonstrates Field’s early talent. Jennifer Thompson, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary (2002), p. 68.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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