Charles Saint-Mémin's American Passport

Issued to Charles B. J. F. de Saint-Mémin French
Signed by Robert Smith American

Not on view

Issued to the artist Charles de Saint-Mémin, this passport describes him as aged forty, five feet 4 1/2 inches tall, with a light complexion, hazel eyes, two scars on his left arm, and a bald head usually covered with a wig. After an education at the École Militaire in Paris, Saint-Mémin left France with his family during the Revolution, first for Switzerland, then New York (arriving in 1793, they intended to move on to a family estate in Sainte Domingue (now Haiti), but were prevented by the uprising on that island). To support the family, Charles became a self-taught portraitist and specialized in profiles, often produced with the help of a physiognotrace. His subjects included John Marshall, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. This document indicates that the artist became a United States citizen during this period. Returning to France in 1814, he became director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon.

Charles Saint-Mémin's American Passport, Issued to Charles B. J. F. de Saint-Mémin (French, Dijon 1770–1852 Dijon), Letterpress and pen and ink

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