Contemporary, Landscapes, New Additions, Prints, woodblock print

New Additions: Matt Brown Color Woodcuts

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NEW ADDITIONSContemporary printmaker Matt Brown dropped off more prints at The Old Print Gallery last week, and we are very excited by his new work. Brown works in the traditional Japanese hanga method to create his stunning color landscapes- cutting and inking a different block for each color used in his prints.

“I love the process of making these prints: the way pictorial simplicity is encouraged, the way an image is separated into parts and put back together, the way the translucent colors blend and juxtapose, the way the wood interacts with the paper.”- Matt Brown

Below Mt. Pemigewasset. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2012. Edition 300. Second state. Image size 16 3/4 x 7 inches.

Below Mt. Pemigewasset. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2012. Edition 300. Second state. Image size 16 3/4 x 7 inches.

Pemaquid from Little Thumcap. Color woodblock print, 2013. Edition 300. Image size 6 3/4 x 16 1/2 inches.

Pemaquid from Little Thumcap. Color woodblock print, 2013. Edition 300. Image size 6 3/4 x 16 1/2 inches.

Kearsarge from Eagle Pond. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2015. Edition 300. Image size 16 1/2 x 7 inches.

Kearsarge from Eagle Pond. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2015. Edition 300. Image size 16 1/2 x 7 inches.

Waves on Little Thrumcap. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2015. Edition 300. Image size 7 x 16 5/8 inches.

Waves on Little Thrumcap. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2015. Edition 300. Image size 7 x 16 5/8 inches.

December Afternoon - Stowe, Vt. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2012. Edition 300. Image size 7 x 16 1/8 inches.

December Afternoon – Stowe, Vt. Matt Brown. Color woodblock print, 2012. Edition 300. Image size 7 x 16 1/8 inches.

Evening at Lake Winnipesaukee. Color woodblock print, 2014. Edition 300. Image size 16 1/2 x 7 inches.

Evening at Lake Winnipesaukee. Color woodblock print, 2014. Edition 300. Image size 16 1/2 x 7 inches.

Mt. Washington from Little Haystack. Matt Brown. Color woodcut print, 2014. Edition 300. 15 7/8 x 7 inches.

Mt. Washington from Little Haystack. Matt Brown. Color woodcut print, 2014. Edition 300. 15 7/8 x 7 inches.

Sunlight and Squam Lake. Matt Brown. Color woodcut print, 2015. Edition 300. Image size 16 1/8 x 7 inches.

Sunlight and Squam Lake. Matt Brown. Color woodcut print, 2015. Edition 300. Image size 16 1/8 x 7 inches.

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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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16th Century Maps, American Maps, Maps, New Additions, Woodcut

New Additions: Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula

Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45). Image size 10 x 13 3/8" (25.5 x 34.1 cm) plus margins. Very good condition save for some minor splitting along centerfold. Black & white. LINK.

Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45). Image size 10 x 13 3/8″ (25.5 x 34.1 cm) plus margins. Very good condition save for some minor splitting along centerfold. Black & white. LINK.

Munster’s map of New World is one of the most important and influential maps of the 16th Century, as it is the earliest to show all of North and South America in a true continental form. This impression is a rare second state of the map, from Munster’s “Cosmography”.  In this second state, published c.1544, the title was changed from “Novae Insulae XVII. . .” to “Novae Insulae XXVI . . .” and appeared in only one edition, making it very scarce.

Geographically, North America is oddly shaped and depicts one of the great geographic misconceptions.  In 1523, Giovanni di Verrazano, a Florentine explorer sailing for King Francis I of France, passed by the outer banks of the Carolinas. He mistook Pamlico Sound for an Oriental Sea that would lead to the Spice Islands, believing that the Barrier Islands were all that constituted North America at the point of the Carolinas. Munster recorded and included Verrazano’s accounts in the greatly successful “Cosmography,” which propagated the myth for many years.

(Detail of North America, depicting the slim Barrier Islands of the Carolinas as the only land mass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.) Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45).  LINK.

Detail of North America, depicting the slim Barrier Islands of the Carolinas as the only land mass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45). LINK.

This early map is filled with interesting cartographic details.

  • The flags of Spain (on Puerto Rico) and Portugal (shown in the South Atlantic) depict their respective spheres of influence in the New World.

    Detail of flag of Spain on Puerto Rico (at left) and flag of Portugal in the South Atlantic (at right). Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45).  LINK.

    Detail of flag of Spain on Puerto Rico (at left) and flag of Portugal in the South Atlantic (at right).
    Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45). LINK.

  • The Yucatan Peninsula is shown as an Island.
  • This is the first map to name the Pacific Ocean (Mare Pacificum).
  • South America is depicted with a large bulge in the northwest and notes that cannibals inhabit parts of it.

    Detail of northwest bulge of South America, inhabited by terrifying cannibals hiding in bushes. Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45).  LINK.

    Detail of northwest bulge of South America, inhabited by terrifying cannibals hiding in bushes.
    Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45). LINK.

  • It is also the first map to show Japan (Zipangri), based entirely upon the accounts of Marco Polo and other early travelers.

    Detail of Japan, marked as "Zipangri" on this map. Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45).  LINK.

    Detail of Japan, marked as “Zipangri” on this map.
    Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45). LINK.

  • Shown in the Pacific Ocean is Magellan’s ship, Victoria.

    Detail of Magellan's ship "Victoria",  first ship to successfully circumnavigate the world. Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45).  LINK.

    Detail of Magellan’s ship “Victoria”, the first ship to successfully circumnavigate the world.
    Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula. Sebastian Munster. Published by Sebastian Munster, Basel. Woodcut, 1540, (c.1544-45). LINK.

Overall, this map is as interesting as it is cartographically significant, and would make an impressive addition to any map collection. Come see it in person at our Georgetown gallery, which is open every Tuesday- Saturday.

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19th Century Prints, Engraving, Natural History, New Additions, Prints

New Additions: Alexander Wilson Bird Prints

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe have three new additions to our natural history inventory- several bird prints from Alexander Wilson’s “American Ornithology; or, The Natural History of the Birds of the United States.” One of America’s great naturalists and nicknamed the “father of American ornithology,” Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) learned much of birding from friend and fellow bird-enthusiast William Bartram. Working out of his father’s famous botanical garden in Philadelphia, Bartram taught Wilson how to draw, identify, and document different bird species. Wilson soon set out to document every species of bird in North America, an impressive undertaking that led to the creation of “American Ornithology”. Nine volumes of “American Ornithology” were published during Wilson’s lifetime. Of the 268 species of birds illustrated, 26 had not previously been described.

C.L Bonaparte published a supplement to “American Ornithology” in 1825-33, to complete what Wilson started, with prints by Titian Ramsey Peale and Alexander Rider.  A second edition printed from the original plates was published by Collins & Co. & Harrison Hall in 1829.

The three prints shown below are from the first edition of “American Ornithology”, published between 1808 and 1814. Engraved and hand-colored, these charming prints would make a beautiful addition to any print collector’s walls or personal collection.

1. Red cocaded Woodpecker 2. Brown-headed Nuthatch  3. Pigeon Hawak  4. Blue-winged Yellow Warbler  5. Golden-winged W.  6. Blue-eyed Yellow W.  7. Black-brested Blue W.  Alexander Wilson. Engraving, hand colored, 1808-14. Paper size 13 1/4 x 10 1/4

1. Red cocaded Woodpecker 2. Brown-headed Nuthatch 3. Pigeon Hawak 4. Blue-winged Yellow Warbler 5. Golden-winged W. 6. Blue-eyed Yellow W. 7. Black-brested Blue W.
Alexander Wilson. Engraving, hand colored, 1808-14. Paper size 13 1/4 x 10 1/4″. Good condition and color. First edition. LINK.

1. Rice bunting. 2. Female. 3. Red-eyed Flycatcher. 4. Marsh Wren. 5. Great Carolina Wren. 6. Yellow-throat Warbler. Alexander Wilson. Engraving, hand colored, 1808-14. Paper size 13 1/4 x 10 1/4

1. Rice bunting. 2. Female. 3. Red-eyed Flycatcher. 4. Marsh Wren. 5. Great Carolina Wren. 6. Yellow-throat Warbler. Alexander Wilson. Engraving, hand colored, 1808-14. Paper size 13 1/4 x 10 1/4″. Good condition and color. First edition. LINK.

1. Canada Jay, 2. Snow Bunting, 3. Rusty Grakle, 4. Purple Grakle Alexander Wilson. Engraving, hand colored, 1808-14. Paper size 13 1/4 x 10 1/4

1. Canada Jay, 2. Snow Bunting, 3. Rusty Grakle, 4. Purple Grakle Alexander Wilson. Engraving, hand colored, 1808-14. Paper size 13 1/4 x 10 1/4″. Good condition and color. First edition. LINK.

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Abstract, Contemporary, Monotype, New Additions, Prints

New Additions: Philip Bennet Monotypes

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSIn advance of our Monotypes show, which opens on July 17th, contemporary printmaker Philip Bennet dropped off several new prints to The Old Print Gallery. It is always a pleasure to interact with our contemporary printmakers. Every meeting creates an opportunity to talk with them about their approach to printmaking, new techniques they are exploring, and challenges (both good and bad) they are working through in their studio. Bennet’s new prints deviate from some of his earlier work, both in scale and color palette, so we asked him to share some of his creative process with our OPG blog readers and collectors. We hope you enjoy!

“For some time friends and other artists have asked: “Why don’t you work bigger? Because as a colorist, your prints would have greater impact.” So this spring I took the plunge and did a group of full sheet (22 x 30″) prints. For my plate I chose Mylar, a thin plastic. By using large brushes along with plenty of water, I could more easily enhance the flow of color. Also, I decided on a different watercolor palette consisting of mostly soft warm colors of violets, mauves, reds, oranges, and yellows. I used my usual technique of working intuitively and letting the colors bleed by lifting and rotating the Mylar to create unforeseen effects. I often add a little splatter. “Opposites Attract” and “Moving Violet” are two examples of this technique.” – Philip Bennet , 2015

Opposites Attract. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Diptych. Image size 17 x 25 1/4". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. Printed on Japanese paper. LINK.

Opposites Attract. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Diptych. Image size 17 x 25 1/4″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. Printed on Japanese paper. LINK.

Moving Violet. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 16 7/8 x 11 1/4". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Moving Violet. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 16 7/8 x 11 1/4″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm II. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/8". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm II. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/8″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm III.  Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/4". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm III. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/4″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

The prints have been added to our inventory, and can now be seen in our DC gallery and online. Thanks to Philip for offering us a glimpse into your creative decision-making.

 

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