James Alexander Fulton of Mount Erin
Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin
In this portrait of a Virginia plantation owner, the French émigré and itinerant artist Charles de Saint-Mémin achieved his precise realism with the aid of a physiognotrace, a mechanical device for tracing a silhouette. After establishing the outline of the head, the artist described the details of the sitter’s appearance with different media that capture a variety of textures and forms.
The vogue for profile portraits on both sides of the Atlantic about 1800 was influenced by Neoclassical taste, as well as by popular ideas on physiognomy, a pseudoscientific notion that a person’s character was manifest in the shapes of his or her facial features. Saint-Mémin produced nearly a thousand images of prominent sitters during his years in the United States, including a companion to this one, of Fulton’s wife, Elizabeth (on display nearby).
Black crayon, pastel, charcoal, and white chalk on paper coated with pink opaque watercolor and pastel mounted to wood-pulp board
sheet: 21 5/16 x 15 1/4 in. (54.1 x 38.7 cm) (show scale)
Museum Collection Fund
This item is not on view
Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin (French, 1770-1852, active United States, 1793-1814). James Alexander Fulton of Mount Erin, ca. 1808. Black crayon, pastel, charcoal, and white chalk on paper coated with pink opaque watercolor and pastel mounted to wood-pulp board, sheet: 21 5/16 x 15 1/4 in. (54.1 x 38.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 30.1104 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1104_PS2.jpg)
overall, 30.1104_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.