Citiscapes, Color etching, Drypoint, Early 20th Century, Etching, Landscapes, Multi-plate etching, Prints

Charles Mielatz

Scene of Cows and an Old Well in a Pasture. Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1911. LINK.

Scene of Cows and an Old Well in a Pasture. Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1911. LINK.

Charles Frederick William Mielatz was born in Bredding, Germany in 1864. He arrived in this country as a young boy and studied at the Chicago School of Design. Mostly self-taught, his first prints were large New England landscapes reminiscent of the painter-etcher school of American art. In 1889, he was invited by the Iconofiles Society to produce a print of Wall Street. He fell in love with the urban landscape and for the rest of his life, Mielatz created urban imagery.

Porch of the Old Customs House (Wall Street). Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1909. LINK.

Porch of the Old Customs House (Wall Street). Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1909. LINK.

Mielatz was a master technician in the field of etching, reworking many of his plates numerous times to precisely master the feeling and composition he was seeking in his images. It is not unusual for him to have many states of each print. He was also one of the early pioneers of multi-plate color etchings in this country. Although the process dates back to the eighteenth-century, for most of the nineteenth-century it was not used. It is thought that the color prints of Mary Cassatt could have influenced him.

Spingler-Van Beuren - The Covered Porch. Charles Mielatz. Color etching, 1913. LINK.

Spingler-Van Beuren – The Covered Porch. Charles Mielatz. Color etching, 1913. LINK.

The Door of St. Bartholomew's. Charles Mielatz.  Three-plate color etching, 1909. LINK.

The Door of St. Bartholomew’s. Charles Mielatz. Three-plate color etching, 1909. LINK.

Although there is no hard documentation that he influenced other artists active in New York City, his choice of etching style is remarkably similar to the drypoints that Martin Lewis produced in the late 1920’s, and his choice of subject matter is not dissimilar to that of John Sloan, who started producing etchings of NYC by 1905.

Old Spar Yard, South Street. Charles Mielatz. Etching, roulette, and sandpaper, undated. LINK.

Old Spar Yard, South Street. Charles Mielatz. Etching, roulette, and sandpaper, undated. LINK.

Charles Mielatz was a member of the New York Etching Club, the Brooklyn Society of Etchers, and was an associate member of the National Academy of Design. In 1906, he succeeded James David Smillie as the etching teacher at the National Academy, a position he held until his death on June 2, 1919.

The Jumel Mansion. Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1906. LINK.

The Jumel Mansion. Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1906. LINK.

Edgar Street (The Shortest Street in New York City). Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1910. LINK.

Edgar Street (The Shortest Street in New York City). Charles Mielatz. Etching, 1910. LINK.

Ericsson's Day No.1. Charles Mielatz. Drypoint, 1914. LINK.

Ericsson’s Day No.1. Charles Mielatz. Drypoint, 1914. LINK.

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19th Century Prints, Early 20th Century, Engraving, Etching, Past/Present, Wood

Past/Present: Wall Street and Trinity Church

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring prints of Wall Street in New York. They both offer a view of Trinity Church. The historic church has been located at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street in lower Manhattan for centuries. The first incarnation of the church, originally built in 1698, burned down in a fire in the American Revolution. The second Trinity Church was built in 1790 and torn down in 1839, due to structural damage after snow and ice storms. The third Trinity Church was completed in 1846, and at the time of its completion, its spire was the highest point in New York.

Image on Left: Wall Street, New York. by William B. Austin. Published in Harper’s Weekly, June 23. 1866. Wood engraving hand-colored, 1866.

Image on Right: Wall Street by Charles F. Mielatz. Etching, 1889. This was the presentation print of the Iconophile Society in 1889.






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