We know that Lester Warren, his wife Elvira, and their daughter Elsie sat for their portrait in about 1843, because a second child who was born that year wasn't included in the painting. In 1844 the family moved to Calais, where Lester Warren was the Universalist minister for the next 23 years at the Old West Church.
As in many portraits from this era, the artist included details that would give the viewer information about the sitters, most likely at the Warren's request. The cross on Lester Warren's shirt indicated his piousness and the books on the shelves and in his hand showed literacy and education. The portrait itself was a symbol of the Warren's taste and refinement at a time when luxuries like a painting were becoming affordable to an established middle class. An added embellishment that makes this painting stand out is the faux painted finish on the frame that simulates bird's eye maple.