Reverend Ammi Ruhamah Robbins (1740–1813), B.A. 1760, M.A. 1763 Artist: Reuben Moulthrop (American, 1763–1814)


American Paintings and Sculpture

Not on view

The Reverend Ammi Ruhamah Robbins, a prominent Congregational minister in Norfolk, Connecticut, emphasized hellfire and damnation and the literal interpretation of the Bible in his preaching. Reuben Moulthrop, a self-taught artist best known for his traveling waxworks museum, presented his sitter as a man of the Word, surrounding him with books and showing him in the process of writing a sermon from an opened Bible. The detailed accuracy of Robbins’s head, evidence of the artist’s exacting skill as a sculptor in wax, contrasts with Moulthrop’s imperfect knowledge of anatomy and perspective.


Oil on canvas


59 5/8 × 59 3/4 in. (151.4 × 151.8 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Trustees of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Foundation

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 4, 32, no. 4, ill
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