From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
JOHN VANDERLYN (1776-1852), American artist,, was born at Kingston, New York, on the 15th of October 1776. He was employed by a print-seller in New York, and was first instructed in art by Archibald Robinson (1765-1835), a Scotsman who was afterwards one of the directors of the American Academy. He copied some of Gilbert Stuart's portraits, including one of Aaron Burr, who placed him under Gilbert. Stuart as a pupil. In 17 9 6 Vanderlyn went to Paris, and in 1805 to Rome, where he painted his picture of "Marius amid the Ruins of Carthage," which was shown in Paris, and obtained a gold medal there. This success caused him to remain in Paris for seven years, during which time he prospered greatly. In 1812 he showed a nude "Ariadne" (engraved by Durand,. and now in the Pennsylvania Academy), which increased his fame. When Aaron Burr fled to Paris, Vanderlyn was for a time his only support. Vanderlyn returned to America. in 1815, but did not meet with success; he worked very slowly, and neither his portraits nor various panorama which he exhibited brought hires any considerable financial return. In 1842, through friendly influences, he was commissioned by Congress to paint "The Landing of Columbus" for one of the panels in the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington. Going to Paris, he employed to assist him a French artist, who, it is said, did most of the work. He died in absolute want at Kingston, New York, on the 23rd of September 1852. Vanderlyn was the first American to study in France instead of in England, and to acquire accurate draughtsmanship. He was more academic than his fellows; but, though faithfully and capably executed, his work was rather devoid of charm. He painted portraits of Presidents Washington (a copy of Stuart's portrait, for the National House of Representatives), Monroe, Madison, Jackson and Taylor, and of the statesmen Robert R. Livingston (New York Historical Society), John C. Calhoun and George Clinton.