Charles Bird King
Born: Newport, Rhode Island 1785
Died: Washington, District of Columbia 1862
oil on wood 17 5/8 x 14 1/8 in. (44.8 x 35.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Albert M. Pitcher, Jr.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 4B
Luce Center Label
Miss Satterlee sat for Charles Bird King in his Washington studio. Her pet golden pheasant grips her forefinger and thumb, its elegant body mirroring the shape of her delicate hand. For a painter of his time, King made a rather daring choice in positioning the bird to call attention to Miss Satterlee’s bosom. Her fashionable clothing, intricate hairstyle, and fair, unblemished skin suggest that she, like her pet, lived a sheltered and protected life.
Animal - bird - parrot
Portrait female - Satterlee, Miss - bust