Charles Balthazar J. F. Saint-Mémin (American, 1770–1852)
Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper
7 1/4 x 6 7/16 in. (18.4 x 16.4 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1954 (54.82)
Between 1803 and 1810, the French aristocrat Saint-Mémin worked in the eastern United States as an itinerant artist. He was in the nation's capital in 18046 when delegations of Native Americans whose lands had been acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase came to Washington to meet President Jefferson and discuss trade relations. Saint-Mémin's fifteen portraits of native Plainsmen are not only the most ethnographically correct but also the earliest known of their type.