Julia Parmly Billings
By Anton H. Wenzler
This portrait of Julia Parmly Billings was painted three years after her marriage to Frederick Billings. It is the only color portrait image known of her. It reveals her blue eyes, and her preference for blue dresses that is confirmed by her surviving collection of formal gowns. The pearl-studded cross at her neck became a family heirloom.
Anton Wenzler was born in Denmark, and came to America when young. He made his career in New York City as a portrait, miniature, still life, genre, and landscape painter. He belonged to an artistic and social circle that included Julia Parmly’s family. Wenzler exhibited widely, and became a member of the National Academy in 1860.
Oil, canvas. 74x61 cm
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, MABI 2521