ROBERTSON, Archibald (1765-1835, artist and publisher). - William ROLLINSON (1762-1842, engraver and publisher)
Alexander Hamilton, Major General of the Armies of the United States of America. Secretary of the Treasury &c. &c.
New York: published at the Columbia Academy of Painting & by William Rollinson, 1st September 1804. Stipple engraving by William Rollinson, after Archibald Robertson. Sheet size: 21 15/16 x 16 5/8 inches.
A very fine memorial portrait of Alexander Hamilton: the first United States Secretary of the Treasury: "The finest American stipple engraving" (Shadwell).
Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757-1804) died of the wounds he received in a duel with Vice-President Aaron Burr on 12 July 1804. Hamilton was a leading American statesman, financier and political theorist, a constitutional lawyer par excellence, and a man with an international reputation. Talleyrand once said: "I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton." The present work, a joint publishing venture between artist and engraver, was published within eight weeks of Hamilton's death and was clearly intended as a memorial to a man who was also an important figure within the State of New York. Archibald Robertson was born in Scotland, and received his initial art training there before moving to London where he studied with both Sir Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West. He was invited to America by Dr. John Kemp of Columbia College and arrived in 1791. In 1792 his brother Alexander, also an artist, joined him and together they operated the Columbian Academy of Painting, one of the earliest art schools in America. The Academy is given as one of the two addresses from which the present print was available. The other address is that of the English-born engraver William Rollinson.
Shadwell American Printmaking "The First 150 Years" 93; Stauffer 2709.