Saint-Mémin lived in the United States from 1793-1814, during which time he made hundreds of portraits, including those of prominent American Jews like Hyman Marks, Henry Alexander, Solomon Moses and Abraham Hart. He was the first artist in America to use the recent French invention called a physionotrace, a mechanical drawing aid facilitating the tracing of a sitter's profile. The artist then reduced the life-size tracing to make a set of twelve small engravings.
Samson Levy Jr. (1761-1831) was a lawyer and one of the incorporators of the Pennsylvania academy of Fine Arts. His mother, Mrs. Samson Levy Sr. (1731-1807), was the wife of a successful Philadelphia merchant.