19th Century Prints, American Views, Aquatint, Citiscapes, Landscapes, Prints

William J. Bennett

William James Bennett (1787-1844) was a British born painter and engraver, known for his series of birds-eye views of American cities and a series of large aquatints of Niagara Falls. Born in London, Bennett studied at the Royal Academy schools, working under Westall to develop his landscape skills. He spent his late teens and early twenties traveling with the British military, first to Egypt and Malta, followed by a later appointment in Italy. His travels expanded his landscape and portraiture skills, gifting an invaluable opportunity for the young artist to sketch both ancient ruins and modern cities and capture landscapes of all visual varieties.

In 1808, Bennett became a founding member of the Associated Artists in Water Colours, and worked out of London for a time. Bennett later moved to the United States in 1826 and was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design just two years later, in 1828. At the Academy he exhibited watercolor landscapes and seascapes as well as his engravings.

From 1830-1840, Bennett produced a series of aquatint topographical city views. Based off paintings of his own and the work of others, this series was immensely successful. In his views Bennett “not only celebrated the beauty of the American landscape, he also recorded the young nation’s growing urban centers, from Boston, Buffalo, and Detroit to New Orleans and Mobile, with a special focus on New York. Bennett recorded the bustling waterfront activity of thriving ports bathed in a luminous light that unified water, ships, and architecture. Capturing the optimism of the new nation, these magnificent aquatints have been regarded as the finest folio views of 19th-century American cities, which set the stage for an independent American school of city views.” (NYPL link). Bennett later painted four views of Niagara Falls, two which became subjects for his own aquatints, two which were translated into aquatints by fellow engraver John Hill.

Below are three prints we have by Bennett, a stunning view of Richmond, a harbor scene of Boston, and (of course) a beautiful view of the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. We hope you enjoy these prints- all three are still available to view and purchase in our Georgetown location!

City of Washington: From beyond the Navy Yard. George Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y. Aquatint engraving, 1834. Engraved by W. J. Bennett. Image size 17 5/8 x 24 5/8". LINK.  One of the great views of the Nation's Capital. Washington is shown from the south bank of the Anacostia River. On the right is the Washington Navy Yard, est. 1799, behind is the original Capitol Building and to the left is the White House. REF: Deak 485, Stokes 1837 E-64.

City of Washington: From beyond the Navy Yard. By George Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y. Aquatint engraving, handcolored, 1834. Engraved by W. J. Bennett. Image size 17 5/8 x 24 5/8″. LINK.
One of the great views of the Nation’s Capital. Washington is shown from the bucolic south bank of the Anacostia River. On the right is the Washington Navy Yard, established in 1799. Behind is the original Capitol Building with the old dome. To the left sits the White House. REF: Deak 485, Stokes 1837 E-64.

Boston, from the Ship House, West End of the Navy Yard. By William J. Bennett. Published by Henry I. Megarey, New York. Handcolored aquatint, 1833.  Image size 15 5/8 x 24 1/8".  LINK.  William Bennett was both the artist and engraver of this delightful view of Boston. One of the great views of the city, Bennett was able to capture the bustling and dynamic nature of this port city at the beginning of the 19th century.

Boston, from the Ship House, West End of the Navy Yard. By William J. Bennett. Published by Henry I. Megarey, New York. Aquatint engraving, handcolored, 1833. Image size 15 5/8 x 24 1/8″. LINK.
William Bennett was both the artist and engraver of this delightful view of Boston. An attractive and colorful view of the city, Bennett was able to capture the bustling, dynamic nature of this port city at the beginning of the 19th century.

Richmond, from the Hill above the Waterworks. By Goegre Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y. Aquatint engraving, c. 1833. Engraved by W. J. Bennett. Image size 17 3/4 x 25 3/8". LINK. One of the rarest and most beautiful of Bennett's aquatints. Gloria Deak describes the print as "George Cooke's romantic celebration of Richmond's charms. . . His composition describes the winding path of the Kanawha Canal, embracing in its arc the waters of the James River, where closely clustered buildings rising from its banks define the human community. Grazing cows lend a pastoral touch, and elegant residents, sketched at their leisure on the wooded heights, are placed by the artist in the amphitheater like setting. . . ." Shown prominently is the Virginia State Capitol building which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. To the right is the Governor's mansion. To the left is City Hall (torn down in 1870) and the State Penitentiary which was designed by Benjamin Latrobe.

Richmond, from the Hill above the Waterworks. By George Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y. Aquatint engraving, handcolored, c. 1833. Engraved by W. J. Bennett. Image size 17 3/4 x 25 3/8″. LINK.One of the rarest and most beautiful of Bennett’s aquatints. Gloria Deak describes the print as “George Cooke’s romantic celebration of Richmond’s charms. . . His composition describes the winding path of the Kanawha Canal, embracing in its arc the waters of the James River, where closely clustered buildings rising from its banks define the human community. Grazing cows lend a pastoral touch, and elegant residents, sketched at their leisure on the wooded heights, are placed by the artist in the amphitheater like setting. . . .” Shown prominently is the Virginia State Capitol building which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. To the right is the Governor’s mansion. To the left is City Hall (torn down in 1870) and the State Penitentiary which was designed by Benjamin Latrobe. REF: Deak 420; Stokes 1833 E-58.

 

 

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19th Century Maps, American Maps, Engraving, Maps, New Additions, Roto-engraving

New Additions: Cram’s 1898 City Plans

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe recently added twenty-four city plans from a 1898 version of “Cram’s Unrivaled Atlas of the World” to our map inventory. George F. Cram Co. was a leading 19th and 20th century map firm, based out of Chicago and later Indianapolis. It was the first American firm to publish a world atlas, and brought globes, classroom maps, and educational atlases into the schools and homes of many. His “Unrivaled Atlas of the World” was so popular it was printed continuously from the 1880’s to 1952.

These maps shown today were printed using color rotogravure, an intaglio technique adopted in the late 19th century. For those looking to collect a map of their city or a favorite travel destination, these Cram maps are handsome and finely detailed. Many offer a key to prominent buildings, churches, attractions, and railroad depots within the city. They are attractively colored in blues, yellows, and pinks, and well sized at ~10 x 13 inches. We hope you enjoy these maps!

“Cram’s Unrivaled Atlas of the World” Maps Available at The Old Print Gallery:

  1. Baltimore.
  2. Buffalo.
  3. Brooklyn.
  4. Boston.
  5. Yellowstone National Park.
  6. Map of Parkersburg West Virginia, and Vicinity. 
  7. Richmond and Manchester, Virginia.
  8. Map of Cincinnati.
  9. Cleveland.
  10. Detroit.
  11. Map of the City of Saginaw, Michigan.
  12. Map of Chicago.
  13. St. Louis.
  14. Council Bluffs.
  15. Map of St. Paul.
  16. Omaha.
  17. Denver.
  18. Louisville.
  19. Nashville.
  20. Atlanta.
  21. New Orleans.
  22. Map of the City of Quebec.
  23. Dallas.
  24. City of Montreal.
Baltimore. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 10 1/8 x 12 1/2". LINK.

Baltimore. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 10 1/8 x 12 1/2″.

Brooklyn. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 10 1/16 x 11 1/8", plus text and margins.

Brooklyn. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 10 1/16 x 11 1/8″, plus text and margins.

Cleveland. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 9 7/8 x 12". LINK.

Cleveland. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 9 7/8 x 12″.

Map of Chicago. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 13 5/8  x 10". LINK.

Map of Chicago. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 13 5/8 x 10″.

Denver. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 13 1/8 x 10 1/2". LINK.

Denver. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 13 1/8 x 10 1/2″.

Atlanta. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 13  x 10 1/8". LINK.

Atlanta. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 13 x 10 1/8″.

New Orleans. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 11 1/4  x 9 3/4". LINK.

New Orleans. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 11 1/4 x 9 3/4″.

Map of the City of Quebec. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 11 1/4  x 9 3/4". LINK.

Map of the City of Quebec. Published by Geo. F. Cram, Chicago. Color rotogravure, 1898. Image size 11 1/4 x 9 3/4″.

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16th Century Prints, 19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Views, Aquatint, Copperplate, Engraving, Foreign Maps, Foreign Views, Lithograph, Maps, New Additions, Two-color Lithograph, World Maps

New Additions: Maps and Views

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe have a great group of new maps and views at The Old Print Gallery. Many of the maps are from J. H. Colton’s “Colton’s General Atlas.” This decorative and well engraved atlas was published in the 19th century, with attractive hand coloring. The new views added to our gallery include a special view of Richmond, VA,  engraved by W. J. Bennett from a painting by G. Cooke. It is one of the rarest and most beautiful of Bennett’s aquatints. Gloria Deak describes the print as “George Cooke’s romantic celebration of Richmond’s charms. . . His composition describes the winding path of the Kanawha Canal, embracing in its arc the waters of the James River, where closely clustered buildings rising from its banks define the human community. Grazing cows lend a pastoral touch, and elegant residents, sketched at their leisure on the wooded heights, are placed by the artist in the amphitheater like setting. . . .” The colors in this view are so striking and rich, making it a beautiful and rare piece for a print collector to add to their own collection.

Colton's China. J. H. Colton. Published by Johnson & Browning, New York. Successors to J. H. Colton and Company. Engraving handcolored, 1855-60. A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's General Atlas." Included on this map are the insets of the island of Amoy and a map of Canton and adjacent islands. With original color.

Colton’s China. J. H. Colton. Published by Johnson & Browning, New York. Successors to J. H. Colton and Company. Engraving handcolored, 1855-60. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s General Atlas.” Included on this map are the insets of the island of Amoy and a map of Canton and adjacent islands. With original color.

Western Hemisphere.  J. H. Colton. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56.  A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's General Atlas." With original color.

Western Hemisphere. By J. H. Colton. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s General Atlas.” With original color.

Eastern Hemisphere. J. H. Colton.  Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's General Atlas."

Eastern Hemisphere. By J. H. Colton. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s General Atlas.”

Hindostan or British India.   Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's Atlas of the World.

Hindostan or British India. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s Atlas of the World.

Medford.  W. Medford Distillery and U.S. Bonded Warehouses.  Massachusetts. By O. H. Bailey. Published by O. H. Bailey & Co., Boston.  Two-color lithograph, 1880. 22 locations identified in the title key of this striking bird's eye view.

Medford. W. Medford Distillery and U.S. Bonded Warehouses. Massachusetts. By O. H. Bailey. Published by O. H. Bailey & Co., Boston. Two-color lithograph, 1880. 22 locations identified in the title key of this striking bird’s eye view.

Richmond, : from the Hill above the Waterworks. George Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y.  Aquatint engraving, c.1833. Engraved by W. J. Bennett from a painting by G. Cooke. One of the rarest and most beautiful of Bennett's aquatints. Gloria Deak describes the print as  "George Cooke's romantic celebration of Richmond's charms. . . His composition describes the winding path of the Kanawha Canal, embracing in its arc the waters of the James River, where closely clustered buildings rising from its banks define the human community. Grazing cows lend a pastoral touch, and elegant residents, sketched at their leisure on the wooded heights, are placed by the artist in the amphitheater like setting. . . ."  Shown prominently is the Virginia State Capitol building which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. To the right is the Governor's mansion. To the left is City Hall (torn down in 1870) and the State Penitentiary which was designed by Benjamin Latrobe.

Richmond, : from the Hill above the Waterworks. George Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y. Aquatint engraving, c.1833. Engraved by W. J. Bennett from a painting by G. Cooke.

Hierosolyma Urbs Sancta. Judaeae, Totiusque Orientis Longe Clarissima, Qua Amplitudine ac Magnificentia Hoc Nostro Aevo Conspicua est. (Jerusalem.)  By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, c. 1572. A fine early view of the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. This view appeared in Braun & Hogenberg's "Civitatus Orbis Theatrum," considered the most famous atlas of city views published in the 16th Century.

Hierosolyma Urbs Sancta. Judaeae, Totiusque Orientis Longe Clarissima, Qua Amplitudine ac Magnificentia Hoc Nostro Aevo Conspicua est. (Jerusalem.) By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, c. 1572. A fine early view of the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. This view appeared in Braun & Hogenberg’s “Civitatus Orbis Theatrum,” considered the most famous atlas of city views published in the 16th Century.

Colton's Map of the World on Mercator's Projection. J. H. Colton. Published by J.H. Colton, 172 William St. New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map of the world from "Colton's General Atlas." The tracts of various explorations are shown. These include Cook, Cancouver and La Perouse.

Colton’s Map of the World on Mercator’s Projection. By J. H. Colton. Published by J.H. Colton, 172 William St. New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map of the world from “Colton’s General Atlas.” The tracts of various explorations are shown. These include Cook, Cancouver and La Perouse.

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16th Century Maps, 17th Century Maps, 19th Century Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Gallery Updates, Maps, New Additions, Roto-engraving, Stone

New Additions: Maps

We have some new additions to our collection this week. Several new maps, both foreign and local, have made it to our shop. We are really excited about a collection of Blaeu maps, as well as an attractive and modern map of Richmond, VA.  Any maps you see below can be found on our website, and if one in particular catches your eye, you can buy it directly over the phone and we will ship it to you, or you ask for it to be placed on hold for you to view in-person at our Georgetown gallery. Below is a quick list of highlights:

1. Jerusalem et suburbia eius, sicut tempore Christi floruit, cum locis, in quibus Christus passus, est: quae religiose a Christianis obferuata, etia nu venerationi habetur.

By Christiaan van Adrichomius. Copper plate engraving, 1584-1682. Van Adrichom’s beautiful plan of the city of Jerusalem, the most important plan of the city published in the 16th century. Oriented to the north, this large scale plan shows the city and immediate surroundings as it was at the time of Christ. The important divisions of the city, its walls and gates are labeled. Also identified are over two hundred fifty sites including the ancient City of David, Mount Sion and Mount Calvary.

2. Richmond and Manchester, Virginia

By George Cram. Published by A.A. Grant. Color roto-engraving, 1892. A very detailed map of the city of Richmond that appeared in “Grant’s Bankers’ and Brokers’ Railroad Atlas.”

3. The London American. Map of the Seat of War, Positions of the Rebel Forces, Batteries, Entrenchments and Encampments in Virginia – The Fortifications for the protection of Richmond.

Published in the London American, London. Stone engraving, c.1861. An interesting and quite graphic map. Surrounding the image on the two sides is: “The ‘London American,’ An International Newspaper, Published Every Wednesday Morning, Price 3d. Office 9, Exeter Change, & All Newsman.” Reference is made in the lower margin to the “Battle of Bull’s [sic] Run, fought on Sunday, the 21st July [1861], about 22,000 unionists and about 60,000 rebels were in the engagement.” An earlier version of this map was published in the morning edition of the New York Herald, June 17, 1861. 

4. Le Gouvernement de l’Isle de France.

By Joan Blaeu. Published by Guiljelmum Blaeu, Amsterdam. Copper plate engraving, c.1640. A decorative map centered on the city of Paris. Embellished with a beautiful cartouche, scale of miles and Royal coat of arms, with original hand coloring. This example is from a French text edition of Blaeu’s “Le Theatre du Monde, Nouvel Atlas”

5. Champagne latine Campania, Comitatus.

By Joan Blaeu. Published by Guiljelmum Blaeu, Amsterdam. Hand-colored engraving, c.1650. A decorative map of the famous French Champagne wine region. Embellished with a handsome title cartouche and distance scale, each flanked by cherubs, with original hand coloring. This example is from a 1650 French text edition of Blaeu’s “Le Theatre du Monde, Nouvel Atlas”

6. Novissima Russiae Tabula.

By Henricus Hondius. Published by Abraham Wolfgang, Amsterdam. Copper plate engraving, c.1688. A later edition of Hondius’ map of the Russian Empire and Scandinavia. Embellished with a decorative cartouche and coat of arms, plus sailing ships and sea monsters. Original hand color with gold leaf highlights. Based on the cartography of Isaac Massa. This map was issued in Wolfgang’s “Atlas Minor” which is a compilation of maps originally issued by Blaeu, de Wit, Visscher and others.

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