Robert Lenox Banks, Sr. (1828-1898)
Charles Loring Elliott (1812-1868)
Oil on canvas
27 H x 22 W
Signed, lower left: C L Elliott/1864
Bequest of Effie Hunter Keys Banks, Jr.
Robert Lenox Banks, an Albany businessman, commissioned this portrait of himself just after the same artist had finished one of his wife, Emma. Banks had recently been appointed secretary of the New York Central Railroad Company, a post probably fostered for him by his wife's uncle, who was president of the company. Elliott portrayed the twenty-nine-year-old Mrs. Banks and her thirty-six-year-old husband as a prosperous young couple. He, with blue-gray eyes and light brown hair, is dressed in a somber suit set against an olive and tan background. He addresses the viewer with a straightforward and confident gaze.