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An American neoclassicist painter. He was employed by a print-seller in New York, and was first instructed in art by Archibald Robinson. He was a protégé of Aaron Burr who in 1796 sent Vanderlyn to Paris, where he studied for five years.
He also exhibited panoramas and built The Rotunda in New York City, which displayed panoramas of Paris, Athens, Mexico, Versailles (by himself), and some battle-pieces; but neither his portraits nor the panoramas brought him financial success, partly because he worked very slowly.