Sartain, John särtān´ [key], 1808–97, American engraver, b. London. Shortly after his arrival in the United States in 1830, he received important commissions for prints after paintings by leading artists. He is known for having introduced pictorial illustration as an important feature of American periodicals, most notably in Graham's Magazine and in Sartain's Union Magazine of Literature and Art, which he founded in 1849. He pioneered in mezzotint engraving in the United States, and produced many fine engravings after such painters as Benjamin West and Thomas Sully. His daughter,
Emily Sartain, 1841–1927, b. Philadelphia, was an engraver and painter. She studied with her father and in Paris. Her painting The Reproof was exhibited at the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, in 1876. She executed some mezzotint engravings and in 1886 became principal of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. A son, Samuel Sartain, 1830–1906, b. Philadelphia, was also an engraver. He studied mezzotint engraving with his father and engraved after paintings by C. W. Peale, Thomas Sully, and others. Another son, William Sartain, 1843–1924, b. Philadelphia, engraver and painter, studied with his father and in Paris. Achieving success in Europe with his romantic landscapes and genre and allegorical scenes, he returned to the United States (1877), where he divided his time between painting and teaching in New York City and Philadelphia. Among his highly popular canvases are Street in Dinon, Brittany (Corcoran Gall.) and Algerian Water Carrier (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.).
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