19th Century Prints, Aquatint, Engraving, Genre, Lithograph, Oil Painting, Prints, Stipple

Election Day

Happy Midterm Election Day! In honor of this very important day in our political process, we are sharing three prints by George Caleb Bingham.

The County Election. George Caleb Bingham. Published by Goupil & Co., New York, Paris, London. Stipple and line engraving,1854. Engraved by John Sartain. Image size 22 1/4 x 30" (564 x 760 mm) plus wide margins. LINK.

The County Election. George Caleb Bingham. Published by Goupil & Co., New York, Paris, London. Stipple and line engraving,1854. Engraved by John Sartain. Image size 22 1/4 x 30″ (564 x 760 mm) plus wide margins. At The Old Print Shop: LINK.

George Caleb Bingham is considered by many to be America’s finest genre painter. A number of his printed images, such as the one above, have a political theme. In 1840, Bingham was sent to the Whig convention at Rocheport, Missouri. It is believed that at the convention Bingham realized the artistic possibilities of the political scene and filled his drawing book up with sketches, which were later utilized for his large compositions. The other two large companion scenes to The County Election are Stump Speaking and the extremely rare Verdict of the People.

Stump Speaking. By George Caleb Bingham. Published by Fishel, Adler and Schwartz, 94 Fulton St., New York. Hand-colored stipple, line, and aquatint engraving, 1856. Engraved by Gautier. Image size 22 5/16 x 30" plus title and margins. LINK.

Stump Speaking. By George Caleb Bingham. Published by Fishel, Adler, and Schwartz, 94 Fulton St., New York. Hand-colored stipple, line, and aquatint engraving, 1856. Engraved by Gautier. Image size 22 5/16 x 30″ plus title and margins. At The Old Print Gallery: LINK.

The Verdict of the People. By George Caleb Bingham. Lithograph, 1858-59. Paper size 21 5/8 x 29 3/4" (549 x 755 mm). E. Maurice Bloch in George Caleb Bingham: A Catalogue Raisonne states that only two impressions of this print are known and both are proofs before title.  The two known impressions in the 1967 catalogue were in the collection of Mrs. A. S. Colgate of Tuxedo Park, N.Y. (that impression is currently in the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas) and in the Estate of Curtis B. Rollins, Columbia, Missouri (location of that impression is unknown).

The Verdict of the People. By George Caleb Bingham. Lithograph, 1858-59. Paper size 21 5/8 x 29 3/4″ (549 x 755 mm). E. Maurice Bloch in George Caleb Bingham: A Catalogue Raisonne states that only two impressions of this print are known and both are proofs before title. The two known impressions in the 1967 catalogue were in the collection of Mrs. A. S. Colgate of Tuxedo Park, N.Y. (that impression is currently in the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas) and in the Estate of Curtis B. Rollins, Columbia, Missouri (location of that impression is unknown).

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19th Century Prints, Genre, Lithograph, Prints

William Sidney Mount (1807-1868)

Coming To The Point. William Sidney Mount. Lithograph, 1855.

William Sidney Mount was born on November 26, 1807 on Long Island. He lived much of his life in bucolic Stony Brook, which had a great influence on his subject matter and artistic style. He first apprenticed as a sign painter for his brother Henry S. Mount. Limited by the artistic possibilities of sign painting, he enrolled and took classes at the newly opened National Academy of Design, in 1826. For a short time, Mount lived and worked in New York, during which he painted many portraits, and some historical scenes. However, after a move back to the countryside, he sought to document the daily life of the common man, through naturalistic narrative scenes. His first Genre painting- Rustic Dance (1930) – was an immediate success, and the paintings that followed established him as one of America’s greatest genre painters.

The “Herald” in the Country. William Sidney Mount. Lithograph on chine colle, 1854.

Mount is known for his idyllic evocation of the pleasures of country life. Many of his paintings show scenes of countrymen farming, fiddling and dancing, or just conversing. He also used his paintings to explore America’s social and political issues, with references to the temperance movement, the large population shift from the country to the city, and the 1852 presidential elections. He was also one of the first American painters to grant African-Americans a prominent, and non-stereotypical, place in his canvases.

Mount’s paintings were bought and commissioned by urban and country dwellers alike, an interesting illustration of the American sentiment at the time. Those who had found new wealth and success in the city took a fondness to Mount’s work, as the reminded them of their bucolic roots, yet also of the tribulations they escaped in their move to the city. His paintings were also appreciated by those still attached to the farm as way of life. For them, the canvases evoked nostalgia for simpler times. Many of Mount’s paintings were engraved and lithographed by Goupil and others in Europe, allowing for increased distribution and popularity.

The Power of Music. William Sidney Mount. Lithograph.

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