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Provenance

The sitter's son, William Patterson Van Rensselaer [1805-1872], New York; his son, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer [1845-1905]; his son, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer [1879-1949], New York;[1] sold 13 February 1919 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York;[2] his estate; sold as part of the Clarke collection on 29 January 1936, through (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), to The A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1942 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1819
American Academy of Fine Arts, New York, 1819, no. 48 (Possibly)
1907
Loan Exhibition of Colonial Relics, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1907, no cat.
1922
Portraits Painted in the United States by Early American Artists, The Union League Club, New York, February 1922, no. 19.
1928
Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928-1931, unnumbered and unpaginated catalogue.
1943
American Paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1943.
1944
Gilbert Stuart: Portraits Lent by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1944-1945, no. 11
1947
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1947.
1948
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1948.
1949
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1949.
1950
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1950.
1951
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1951.
1955
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1955.
1955
Famous Americans, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1955, no cat.
1956
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1956.
1967
Loan for display with permanent collection, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1967-1990.
2005
Slavery and the Making of New York, New York Historical Society, 2005-2006, no cat., as Stephen Van Rensselaer.
Bibliography
1888
Rensselaer, May King Van. The Van Rensselaers of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck. New York, 1888:17-21, repro.
1907
Pelletreau, William S. Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York. 4 vols. New York and Chicago, 1907:2:repro facing title page
1926
Park 1926, 775-776, no. 865, repro.
1928
Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke. Exh. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928, unnumbered.
1964
Mount 1964, 376
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 106, repro.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 236, repro.
1984
McClave, Elizabeth W. Stephen Van Rensselaer III: a Pictorial Reflection and Biographical Commentary. , 1984: frontispiece.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 349, repro.
1995
Miles, Ellen G. American Paintings of the Eighteenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1995: 196-198, color repro. 197.