Skip Navigation

Portrait of Emily Warren Roebling

Charles-Émile-Auguste Carolus-Duran

European Art

A Brooklyn Power Couple
Washington and Emily Roebling, like many eminent Americans, had their likenesses painted by leading French portraitists. Washington, who served as the chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, is depicted seated before a window overlooking the landmark. When he fell ill during construction, Emily assumed all on-site responsibilities and was the first to cross the bridge, in 1883.

Emily Roebling was honored at the bridge’s opening ceremony, and her celebrity later extended beyond Brooklyn. She wore the elaborate dress she wears here at her presentation at court in St. James’s Palace in London and at the crowning of the czar and czarina in Moscow.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1896
    DIMENSIONS 89 × 47 1/2 in., 214 lb. (226.1 × 120.7 cm, 97.07kg) frame: 103 x 62 x 6 in. (261.6 x 157.5 x 15.2 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower left: "Carolus-Duran./Paris 1896."
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1994.69.1
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Paul Roebling
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Charles-Émile-Auguste Carolus-Duran (French, 1838–1917). Portrait of Emily Warren Roebling, 1896. Oil on canvas, 89 × 47 1/2 in., 214 lb. (226.1 × 120.7 cm, 97.07kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Paul Roebling, 1994.69.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1994.69.1_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1994.69.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.