Object Image

Jane Breathitt Sappington

Although best-known as a genre painter who secured a national reputation for his images of Missouri life, George Caleb Bingham made most of his income from portraiture. Over five decades, he painted more than 200 Missouri citizens. Arrow Rock, Missouri, residents Dr. John Sappington and his wife Jane Breathitt Sappington were the only couple whose portraits Bingham painted three times. By portraying Dr. Sappington with his papers (possibly the manuscript of his Theory and Treatment of Fevers, 1843) and Mrs. Sappington holding her glasses (the sign of a literate woman), Bingham followed the Grand Manner portrait tradition of picturing attributes that reflect a sitter's profession or status in society.

Gift of Mary Katherine Hall Horner and Charles D. Horner in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Motter Hall and the 75th anniversary of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

c. 1844
Oil on canvas
36.5 x 28.4in
2011.20.2
Image and text: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Permanent collection