John Vanderlyn

Vanderlyn, John (vănˈdərlĭn) [key], 1776–1852, American portrait and historical painter, b. Kingston, N.Y. Under the patronage of Aaron Burr he studied with Gilbert Stuart and in Paris. From 1796 to 1815 much of his life was spent in Paris and in Rome. He achieved a high reputation with such compositions as Marius amid the Ruins at Carthage (M. H. de Young Memorial Mus., San Francisco), which was awarded a gold medal by Napoleon, and Ariadne (Pa. Acad. of the Fine Arts). He was able to assist his former patron when Burr fled to Paris in disgrace. Vanderlyn returned to America in 1815. His ambitious historical compositions found no market, and his admirable portraits were so slowly executed that few had the patience to pose for him. Late in life he was commissioned to paint the Landing of Columbus (Capitol, Washington, D.C.), but was obliged to employ assistants to execute it. He died impoverished and embittered. A self-portrait is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. The Senate House Museum, Kingston, N.Y., has numerous paintings attributed to Vanderlyn.

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