In early 2017, our fourth floor will be transformed into a new destination for historical education and innovation. During the current renovation, objects from our permanent collection are on view throughout the Museum.
The Course of Empire: The Consummation of Empire
Oil on canvas (relined)
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Canvas: 22 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. ( 56.5 x 41.9 cm )
Frame: 31 7/16 x 25 11/16 x 3 1/2 in. (79.9 x 65.2 x 8.9 cm)
When John Vanderlyn (1775-1852) arrived in New York City from Kingston, NY in 1792, he honed his painting skills by copying portraits by Gilbert Stuart, among them a painting of Aaron Burr. Impressed by the copy, Burr took Vanderlyn under his wing, sending him to Paris to continue his artistic training at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Vanderlyn returned to New York in 1801 and, a year later, painted this right-facing portrait of Burr, which became the subject’s standard image. Aaron Burr was elected vice president under Thomas Jefferson in 1800. His political fortunes changed in 1804, when he mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. He spent some time in the West and then in Europe, before returning to America in 1812, politically and financially ruined.
Gift of Dr. John E. Stillwell
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
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