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Portrait of Sylvanus B. Phinney

circa 1830-1835

John Trumbull (American, 1756 - 1843)

John Trumbull earned his reputation by creating some of this country’s first history paintings: canvases that commemorated the heroes and battles of the American Revolution. A number of these hang today in the United States Capitol. Trumbull left much of his other work to the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Connecticut) upon his death in 1843.

Throughout his career Trumbull also painted many of America’s leading businessmen and politicians. Among these sitters was Sylvanus Phinney. Phinney was born in 1808 and rose to become a prominent figure in the Cape Cod region. He was a major in the First regimental Massachusetts Militia in the early 1830s and traced his lineage back to this country’s first residents. Trumbull depicts him at a fairly young age (Phinney would have been in his 30s) and poses him against a plain background, turned to gaze confidently outward, his face framed by a high collar and stylish mutton chop sideburns.

Place object was created: United States

oil paint, canvas

Measurements:    height: 35.25 inches    width: 30.5 inches    smallest height: 27.25 inches    smallest width: 22.5 inches

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Tibor Ham, Jr. 1981.202.1

Currently on view at Mint Museum UPTOWN