Thomas Rossiter was married to Anna Ehrick Parmly, Julia Billings' sister. In 1856 he began making portraits of the Parmly family members at their home in New York. Although painted in 1856-57, it is thought that Rossiter used an earlier photograph or portrait of Julia as his inspiration for the painting. In 1856, Julia would have been 22; the girl in the paintings appears to be 16 or 17.


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