The Old Print Shop

William Augustus Washington II. [and] handwritten receipt to Mr. Washington from St. Memin.

  • ARTIST: Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Memin

  • MEDIUM: Aquatint and line engraving; pen and ink receipt,

    DATE: 1804.

  • EDITION SIZE: Portrait 2 3/16" (5.5 cm) circular; Receipt 3 15/16 x 7 5/8" (10 x 19.4 cm)

  • DESCRIPTION: According to the receipt St. Memin produced at least four drawings for Mr. Washington, Himself, his wife and sons. Only William was turned into an engraving. <br><br> The receipt reads: Recd., Washington City november 22d 1804, of Mr. Washington Seventy two dollars in full for his & his sons, and his lady's Likenesses. $72- St. Memin.<br><br> William Augustus Washington (1757-1810) was the son of George Washington's half brother, Augustine Washington II. He was a noted cavalry officer of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and later held a final rank of Brigadier General in the newly created United States Army after the war. Lord Cornwallis, would later comment that "there could be no more formidable antagonist in a charge, at the head of his cavalry, than Colonel William Washington.". He is buried at Mount Vernon. <br><br> Between 1796 and 1810, Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852) created some of the most beautiful images in the history of American portraiture. Nearly a thousand Americans sat for portraits, among them Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere, Mother Seton, Meriwether Lewis, and Charles Willson Peale. Saint-Mémin's popularity rested on a growing appreciation for profiles as a particularly truthful form of portraiture, and his distinctive images have come to epitomize Federal America.


  • CONDITION: Both are in good condition. Receipt drum mounted. Portrait laid on heavy paper. B/W

  • REFERENCE: Miles, "Saint Memin and the neoclassical profile portrait in America" #924.