Want a picture of Aaron Burr Jr, Class of 1772? Make a copy.

aaron burr painting.jpg

Hippolyte Burr, after a painting by John Vanderlyn (1775-1852), Aaron Burr, Jr. (1756-1836), 1800s. Oil on canvas. Rare Books and Special Collections. Princeton University Library. Gift of Miss Evelyn Benedict.


John Vanderlyn (1775-1852), Aaron Burr, Jr. (1756-1836), 1802. Oil on canvas. Gift of Dr. John E. Stillwell, 1931.58. New-York Historical Society.

According to the New-York Historical Society records, when John Vanderlyn arrived in New York City from Kingston, NY in 1792, he honed his painting skills by copying portraits by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), among them a painting of Aaron Burr Jr., Class of 1772. Impressed by the copy, Burr took Vanderlyn under his wing, sending him to Paris to continue his artistic training at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

Vanderlyn returned to New York in 1801 and moved in with the Burr family during the time that Burr was serving as the third Vice President of the United States (1801-1805). While in their home, Vanderlyn painted a second portrait of Burr, which now hangs at the New-York Historical Society. Hippolyte Burr, the grandson of Colonel Aaron Burr, made a copy of this work, which was presented to Princeton University in 1933 by Miss Evelyn Benedict.