Simitiere, Pierre-Eugène Du

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Simitiere, Pierre-Eugène Du

SIMITIERE, PIERRE-EUGÈNE DU. (1736–1784). Artist. Switzerland Born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1736, Simitiere went to the West Indies when he was about fourteen years old. He settled in Philadelphia in 1766. Around 1779 he drew the portraits of Commander in Chief George Washington, Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben, Silas Deane, Joseph Reed, Gouverneur Morris, John Dickinson, Benedict Arnold, and many other prominent Americans. Engraved in Paris, published there in 1781, pirated in England (1783), and reprinted many times, Simitiere's engravings became the standard visual portraits of the Revolutionary leadership. Simitiere was an avid collector of natural curiosities, books, and pamphlets. In 1782 he opened his celebrated collection to the public as the "American Museum" in Philadelphia, where he died in October 1784.


Sifton, Paul G., ed. Historiographer to the United States: The Revolutionary Letterbook of Pierre Eugène Du Simitière. New York: Vantage Press, 1987.

The Simitiere Papers. Philadelphia, Pa. and Washington, D.C.: Library Company of Philadelphia and Library of Congress.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles