Miss Emily's father's portrait sits on a gilt easel by the fireplace, and it is a crayon portrait.
In the story, the text mentions the portrait when a deputation of aldermen call on Miss Emily to discuss her tax obligations. Accordingly, after Miss Emily's father passed away, Colonel Sartoris had given Emily a dispensation that released her from her tax responsibilities to the town of Jefferson. To coax Miss Emily into accepting his premise for the dispensation, Colonel Sartoris had craftily invented an elaborate story of the town being beholden to Miss Emily's father for a business loan.
After Colonel Sartoris passed away, however, a new generation of mayors and aldermen refused to continue to indulge Miss Emily. By the time the deputation arrived at Miss Emily's home, the neglected home had been free of visitors for at least eight to ten years. Miss Emily used to give china-painting lessons, but she has since stopped. The house itself smells of "dust and disuse." The men are led into the parlor, where the furniture is covered in heavy leather. Here, the chairs are also dusty. However, the prized crayon portrait of Miss Emily's father sits proudly before the fireplace.
Despite their carefully prepared arguments, however, the men are not able to convince Miss Emily to pay her taxes. She stubbornly orders the council men to refer to Colonel Sartoris whenever the subject of her tax responsibilities come up. So, defeated by an old lady's irrevocable will, the aldermen must accept that no taxes will be paid by Miss Emily for the duration of her life on earth.