Kiliaen K. Van Rensselaer (1763-1845)

Charles B.J. Fevret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852)
Date: 1805
Medium: Black and white chalk over prepared pink ground on paper
Dimensions: 22 H x 16 1/4 W
Credit: Bequest of Miss Maud Wyman Van Rensselaer, great-granddaughter of Kiliaen K. Van Rensselaer
Accession Number: 1992.63
Comments: Van Rensselaer was a lawyer and Federalist Party activist who served five terms in the House of Representatives. He served on the Ways and Means Committee, dealing with such matters as the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Aaron Burr conspiracy of 1806, and the abolition of the slave trade in 1808. The artist, Saint-Mémin, traced his subject's outline with the aid of a tracing machine, then drew in the details with chalk. Afterward, he used a pantograph—a machine for mechanically copying drawings—to make the profile smaller and engraved it on a copper plate from which prints could be made.