Charles Fenderich. “Martin Van Buren, President of the United States.” Washington: C. Fenderich, 1839. Ca. 11 1/2 x 11. Lithograph by P.S. Duval. Very good condition.
A beautifully wrought portrait of Martin Van Buren painted in Washington during his Presidency. Charles Fenderich was a Swiss lithographer who had emigrated to Philadelphia in 1831. In Philadelphia, Fenderich issued a number of lithographs jointly with fellow Swiss artist J.C. Wild and also on his own until about 1837, at which time he moved to Washington, D.C. There Fenderich, realizing the opportunities afforded in the nation’s capital, began to issue a series of fine lithographic portraits of American statesmen. These fine portraits were primarily based on his own life-drawings, for as his reputation spread, most of the political figures in Washington were delighted to sit for him. In all Fenderich made about 84 portraits in Washington between 1837 and 1848, after which he joined the California Gold Rush, to finish his days at an artist on the west coast. Fenderich’s portraits are not only beautifully made, but they provide us with excellent life-portraits of most of the important American statesmen of the third and fourth decades of the nineteenth century.