Bronze, 16 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches (41.91 x 46.99 cm.), private collection

Cornelius Vanderbilt I, 1882

Cornelius Vanderbilt I (1794-1877), steamship and railroad promoter and financier, married his cousin Sophia Johnson when he was nineteen years old. They had thirteen children. By 1846 he was a millionaire, having built up a ferry business between New York and Staten Island, which he later expanded into the formation of the New York Central railroad system. Saint-Gaudens modeled this portrait posthumously from photographs taken in 1873, probably by Matthew Brady. It was included in the dining room with other Vanderbilt portraits in the Fifth Avenue and 57th Street mansion built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the sitter’s grandson.