18th Century Prints, Botanical, Copperplate, Engraving, Natural History, Prints

Weinmann botanicals

With the new fall season comes new prints for the gallery walls. We opened 20th Century People two weeks ago on one side of the gallery, and are in the process of hanging our “historic” side of the gallery with antique prints and maps which show off the full range of our gallery’s collection. Two new prints to this side of the wall are from Weinmann’s 18th century botanical masterpiece, Phytanthoza iconographia.

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Beta alba, Poiree blanc. No. 242. Johann W. Weinmann. Published in Amsterdam and Ratisbon. Copper engraving printed in color and finished by hand, 1736-1745. Average platemark 12 3/4 x 8″ (325 x 203 mm). LINK.

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Aloe Americana toberosa yuccae foliis. No. 53. Johann W. Weinmann. Published Amsterdam and Ratisbon. Copper engraving printed in color and finished by hand, 1736-45. Average platemark 12 3/4 x 8″ (325 x 203 mm). LINK.

A truly ambitious project, the Phytanthoza iconographia includes 8 folio volumes and over 1000 plates, resulting in one of the most comprehensive reference on plants, flowers, and fruits of the eighteen century.  The collection is impressive in both size and scope, both almost unparalleled in beauty. Weinmann utilized the talents of Georg Dionysius Ehret, a distinguished botanical artist credited with being the greatest influence on 18th century botanical painters, in addition to the help he received by N. Assam, B. Seuter, J.E. Rindinger and J. Haid.  Ehret is responsible for roughly 500 plates, half of the images in the collection.

Weinmann was one of the first printmakers to produce color printing from a single plate, resulting in a vibrant and cohesive image. The two prints selected, Beta alba, poiree blanc and Aloe Americana toberosa yuccae follis are excellent examples of the rich coloration achieved by this single-plate process. Vibrant greens and blues are coupled with a warm yellow under tone, a combination that makes these botanicals pop off the creamy 18th century paper.

Phytanthoza iconographia was published in both Latin and German editions, and a Dutch edition appeared in four volumes in 1736-1748. It was the Dutch edition that was brought to Japan in the early nineteenth century, and some of Weinmann’s illustrations were the source for those in Honzu zufu, the monumental Japanese botanical work by Iwasaki Tsunemasa. Honzu zufu was one of the two most important treatises on systematic botany in the Tokugawa period (1603-1867).

To see more Weinmann engravings, or additional botanicals from the likes of Thornton, Bessa, Redoute, and many more, stop by our Georgetown gallery in Washington, DC.

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18th Century Prints, Americana, Mezzotint, Naval, New Additions, Portraits, Prints

New Additions: Hancock and Hopkins Portraits

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NEW ADDITIONSToday we are sharing two portraits, recently added to our collection. Published only a year apart, these mezzotint engravings of John Hancock and Commodore Esek Hopkins depict key figures in the Revolutionary War. Information for each print is listed below. For more portraits or Revolutionary War prints and maps, visit our website or stop by our Georgetown gallery. We hope you enjoy these striking pieces of Americana.

The Hon.ble John Hancock. of Boston in New-England; President of the American Congress. By Littleford. London, Published as the Act directs 25 Octo.r 1775 by C. Shepherd. Mezzotint engraving, 1775. Image size 12 1/2 x 9 7/8" (318 x 251 mm). Overall is good condition, lower "C. Shepherd." publication line trimmed off. LINK.

The Hon.ble John Hancock. of Boston in New-England; President of the American Congress. By Littleford. London, Published as the Act directs 25 Octo.r 1775 by C. Shepherd. Mezzotint engraving, 1775. Image size 12 1/2 x 9 7/8″ (318 x 251 mm). Overall is good condition, lower “C. Shepherd.” publication line trimmed off. LINK.

John Hancock became involved in the Revolution as a result of his disagreements with English custom officials regarding his mercantile business in Boston. At the time of the Stamp Act and the Boston Massacre, he was an outspoken leader among patriots and held elected offices in both the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and the Continental Congress. His militant beliefs, as well as his position as president of the Continental Congress, made him newsworthy in both England and the colonies.

Numerous portraits were published on both sides of the ocean depicting this important Revolutionary figure. In his anxiety to distribute the first print depicting Hancock, the London print-seller Charles Shepherd issued a porthole portrait (the above print) of the great patriot after a painting by Littleford. The image bears a passable resemblance to Copley’s portrait of Hancock, but it is unlikely that Shepherd ever saw the painting in person, therefore it is more reasonable to assume that it was based on a verbal description. Shepherd published another portrait of Hancock on the same day, which depicts him as a double-chinned gentleman holding a letter. This portraits bears even less resemblance to Copley’s portrait, therefore it is safe to conclude that Shepherd published both works without ever seeing a likeness of Hancock. This early print is one of the most important portraits of Hancock, and one of the rarest pieces of early Americana.

Commodore Hopkins, : Commander in Chief of the American Fleet. Publish'd as the Act directs 22, Augt. 1776, by Thos. Hart, London. Mezzotint, 1776. Image size 12 9/16 x 9 1/8" (319 x 232 mm). German edition. Good condition. 1/4 to 3/4" margins, which is unusual for mezzotints of this period. LINK.

Commodore Hopkins, : Commander in Chief of the American Fleet. Publish’d as the Act directs 22, Augt. 1776, by Thos. Hart, London. Mezzotint, 1776. Image size 12 9/16 x 9 1/8″ (319 x 232 mm). German edition. Good condition. 1/4 to 3/4″ margins, which is unusual for mezzotints of this period. LINK.

An attractive portrait of Commodore Hopkins, with two Continental ships shown in the background. The first Navy Jack, a flag with a rattlesnake on it bearing the motto “Don’t Tread on Me” (or in the case of this print, “Don’t tread upon me”), is shown at left and may have flown aboard the Alfred, flagship of the newly commissioned Continental fleet. At right flies the Pine Tree Flag, here titled “Liberty Tree An Appeal to God”.

Esek Hopkins was born in Rhode Island on April 26, 1718. As a young man he began a career at sea, captaining merchant vessels and, during the French and Indian War, acting as a successful privateer. After the American Revolution broke out in 1775, Rhode Island appointed Hopkins as commander of its military forces. Later that year he became Commander in Chief of the very small Continental Navy. In mid-February 1776, Commodore Hopkins sailed from Philadelphia under orders from the Continental Congress to attack British maritime forces in Virginia. Facing a British fleet much larger in numbers and better outfitted, Hopkins instead elected to continue sailing south to Nassau and protect his fledgling Navy of just eight merchant ships. On March 3rd, he seized Fort Montagu and then advanced to the poorly-defended town, executing the first amphibious warfare operation. His fleet seized all gunpowder and munitions- supplies desperately needed by the Continental Army. On April 4, 1776, while returning home, his Continental ships encountered and captured two small British warships, but then failed to capture the HMS Glasgow two days later. Hopkins’ conduct of his operations produced considerable controversy and he was dismissed by Congress in 1778. He served in the Rhode Island legislature until his death in 1802.

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18th Century Prints, Botanical, Copperplate, Engraving, Foreign Views, Landscapes, Prints

Volckamer Citrus Fruit Prints

Today we are sharing stunning 18th century engravings from Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” A wealthy Nuremberg merchant who had his own fine orangery, Johann C. Volckamer engaged a variety of artists and engravers, including the architectural artist Paul Decker, to produce plates for this distinctive work. Most of the plates are devoted to citrus fruits, bedecked with ribbon and positioned above views of the gardens, town squares, and palaces of Germany, Austria, and Italy. These unusual engravings are prized for their unique combination of botanical illustrations and 18th century garden designs.

Cedrato con fior e Sugo doppio. Page 174. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Cedrato con fior e Sugo doppio. Page 174. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

In the 18th century, most European gardeners were moving away from ornamental gardens and towards practical gardening of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Gardens in colder planting zones were enclosed against insects, vermin, and the chilly climate, gifting the gardeners an opportunity to grow and cultivate citrus fruit trees for the first time. While the culture of fruit was the subject of many books- gardeners manuals with instructions as to care and pruning were in abundance- there were comparatively few illustrated books dealing with fruit alone in the beginning of the century. Published in 1708, Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides” was one of the first illustrated books dedicated to citrus fruits.

Limon Cedrato. Page 68. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Limon Cedrato. Page 68. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

Limon Cedrato. Page 162. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Limon Cedrato. Page 162. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

The first volume of “Nurnbergische Hesperides” contained 115 plates, mostly uncolored. Separated into 5 parts, the book’s first four sections focus solely on citrus fruits, while the fifth is devoted to flowers. The plates were engraved by L. C. Glotsh, and were the work of artists P. Decker, B. Kinkel, and I. C. Steinberger.

A continuation, or second volume, of “Nurnbergische Hesperides” was published in 1714, with 132 plates. Again, the plates depict mostly citrus fruits, with the exception of the last section, which highlights pineapple, palm, and coconut trees.The plates were engraved by  J. C. Dehne and J. Montalegre, and were the work of artists Delsenbach, T. G. Beckh, Krieger, and F. P. Lidner.

Aranzo da Portugal. Page 194b. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Aranzo da Portugal. Page 194b. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

Limon cornagione. Page 144a. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Limon cornagione. Page 144a. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

Cedrati musciati. Page 61. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Cedrati musciati. Page 61. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

Cedro di fiore e Sugo doppia. Page 118. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Cedro di fiore e Sugo doppia. Page 118. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

Lima Romana. Page 152. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Lima Romana. Page 152. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

Cedrato Bergamotto. Page 52.  Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer's "Nurmbergische Hesperides". LINK.

Cedrato Bergamotto. Page 52. Johann C. Volckamer. Published Nuremberg. Copperplate engraving, hand-colored, 1708-14. From Volckamer’s “Nurnbergische Hesperides.” LINK.

 

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18th Century Prints, Botanical, Engraving, Prints

Traite des Arbres Fruitiers

Today we are sharing a collection of prints from the first edition of one of the most influential 18th-century works on fruit, “Traite des Arbres Fruitiers” by Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau. The book was first published in Paris in 1768 and contained one hundred and eighty black & white engravings. The engravings were hand-colored after printing, in great detail and featuring a full spectrum of colors. The publication “proved of such importance that it was reissued between 1808 and 1835 after having been enlarged to four hundred and twenty two excellent plates” (Dunthorne, pg.53).

“Traite des Arbres Fruitiers” begins by discussing various methods of pruning and grafting fruit specimens. This concise and instructive description of techniques was written to encourage propagation of fruit trees throughout Europe, with particular concentration on French climate and soil conditions. Duhamel’s aim was to promote the advantageous and nutritional benefit of fruit-bearing trees, going against popular opinion at the time that claimed eating fruit was detrimental to one’s health.

Sixteen different types of fruit and a number of their different species are described in the work – including apricots, cherries, figs, gooseberries, pears, peaches, grapes, and many more. For each fruit included in “Traite des Arbres Fruitiers”, the plate features a depiction of the seed, foliage, blossom, fruit, and sometimes cross sections of the specimen. As pears were Duhamel’s favorite fruit, they constitute the largest percentage of the plates.

Duhamel employed three artists to illustrate his book- Claude Aubriet, Madeleine Basseporte, and Abbé le Berriays (credited only by the initials “L.B.”). These artists’ names can be found on the lower left publication line of their respective plates.

We hope you enjoy these beautiful examples of early fruit illustration.

Bon Chretien d'Hyver.Tome II. Pl. XLV. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 1/4 x 7 3/4" (237 x 197 mm). LINK.

Bon Chretien d’Hyver.Tome II. Pl. XLV. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 1/4 x 7 3/4″ (237 x 197 mm). LINK.

Corinthe Blanc.Tome II. Pl. VII. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 8 7/8 x 7 1/2" (225 x 190 mm). LINK.

Corinthe Blanc. Tome II. Pl. VII. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 8 7/8 x 7 1/2″ (225 x 190 mm). LINK.

Griotte d'Allemagne. Tome I. Pl. XIV. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 1/2" (227 x 190 mm). LINK.

Griotte d’Allemagne. Tome I. Pl. XIV. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 1/2″ (227 x 190 mm). LINK.

Chair-a-Dame.Tome II. Pl. XVI. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 5/8" (227 x 193 mm). LINK.

Chair-a-Dame.Tome II. Pl. XVI. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 5/8″ (227 x 193 mm). LINK.

Beure Gris. Tome II. Pl. XXXVIII. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 1/2" (223 x 190 mm). LINK.

Beure Gris. Tome II. Pl. XXXVIII. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 1/2″ (223 x 190 mm). LINK.

Marquise. Tome II. Pl. XLIX. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 1/2" (227 x 190 mm). LINK.

Marquise. Tome II. Pl. XLIX. By Henri Duhamel Du Monceau. Published Paris. Engraving, handcolored, 1768. Image size 9 x 7 1/2″ (227 x 190 mm). LINK.

REF: Dunthorne, G. (1970). Flower & Fruit Prints of the 18th and early 19th centuries. New York: Da Capo Press.

To see all Henri Duhamel Du Monceau prints, click here.

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18th Century Maps, 18th Century Prints, 19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Maps, Americana, Aquatint, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Gallery Opening Receptions, Gallery Updates, Maps, OPG Showcase, Portraits, Prints

Upcoming at The Old Print Gallery

87117Our Winter Contemporary Show is up on the gallery walls for only 2 more days. Works by thirteen contemporary printmakers, all created within the last two years, were chosen for the show. The prints selected are an impressive, alluring display of the current eclecticism found in contemporary printmaking. The show includes work by three local DC artists-Jake Muirhead, Susan Goldman, and Philip Bennet- as well as many regional and international printmakers. Stop by to see these prints before the walls change.

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Tonal Array: Aquatints from the 20th and 21st Century opens next Friday, February 20th, with an opening reception from 5-7 pm at the gallery.  Tonal Array draws attention to the talented printmakers of the 20th and 21st century who experimented and pushed the boundaries of aquatint’s potential. Varying between flat color planes and incredible plate texture, these artists demonstrate a fluid and experimental handling of the medium. The resulting images have an expressive strength and visual intensity that relay the ingenuity to be found in the world of original printmaking. The show will remain on view until April 11th, 2015.

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Our February 2015 Showcase will hit mailboxes next week. This edition draws heavily on a collection of historic American prints and portraits, as well as important Revolutionary War maps. Several pieces selected for the catalog  are exceptionally rare works of Americana and rarely show up on the market or at auction.

 

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