Sartain, John, 1808-1897

Alternative names
Birth 1808-10-24
Death 1897-10-25

Biographical notes:

Engraver, portrait and miniature painter John Sartain was born in London in 1808 and moved to the United States in 1830 after a seven year apprenticeship to London engraver John Swaine. Besides his banknote and portrait engraving, Sartain was noted for his magazine engravings. In 1849 he began his own magazine, entitled Sartain's Union Magazine of Letters and Art, but ceased its publication three years later due to financial troubles. Sartain was also the director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the head of the art department at the Centennial Exposition. His autobiography, The Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, was published posthumously in 1899, two years after his death.

From the description of Papers, ca.1830-1896. (Winterthur Library). WorldCat record id: 84666709

English engraver.

From the description of Letter : to George Heath, 1886 Feb. 18. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 80803916

English-American painter and engraver.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Philadelphia, to Messrs. Carey & Hart, 1848 Feb. 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270634229

Mezzotint is after a well-known painting entitled "The Washington Family" by Edward Savage.

From the description of [The Washington family] [graphic] / painted by Edward Savage ; engraved by J. Sartain. [between 1849 and 1852] (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 61739789

Engraver, portrait painter, miniature painter; Philadelphia, Pa.

From the description of John Sartain letters, 1864-1897. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122390374

American engraver.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Philadelphia, to Max Levy, 1896 Apr. 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270634232


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Ark ID:


  • Engraving--Printing
  • Magazine illustration--19th century
  • Engravers
  • Advertising fliers
  • Engraving, American--19th century
  • Art, American--19th century
  • Artists--Correspondence
  • Business record--19th century
  • Engraving--Printing--Specimens


  • Engravers


  • Pennsylvania (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania--Philadelphia (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania--Philadelphia (as recorded)