Recently in Prints, Drawings, Paintings Category

Triumphal Entries


From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, coronations, marriages, and other royal occasions were celebrated with a triumphal entry or parade into the city. According to Les fêtes de la Renaissance (Firestone GT3930 .J16), Charles V (1500-1558) held no less than five triumphal entries in 1529, 1533, 1536, 1542, and 1548 during the Habsburg consolidation.

In a 1525 entry in his diary, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) commented on one of Charles V’s entry marches and (rough translation) how the king was received with a costly triumph, how there was music and great rejoicing, and beautiful young maidens, whose like I have never seen. 350 years later, Austrian artist Hans Makart not only painted the maidens accompanying Charles V “clothed in little more than pearls,” but also included Dürer in the crowd.

Makart’s architectural fantasies are often compared with the operas of Richard Wagner, because of the artists’ shared belief in a Gesamtkunstwerk or total work of art. Makart’s painting was reproduced in various printed forms throughout Europe and the United States. The naked women led to censorship of the image through the Comstock Act and assured its widespread popularity in America.

Adolphe Lalauze (1838-1905) after a painting by Hans Makart (1840-1884), Entrée de Charles-Quint à Anvers (Entry of Charles V into Antwerp), ca. 1878. Etching with aquatint. French Print collection GC077.

Colorful eruptions for New Year's Eve

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Attributed to Girolano Gianni (1837-1895), Eruze del 26 Aprile 1872, [late 19th century], gouache. Graphic Arts Italian drawings.

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Attributed to Girolano Gianni (1837-1895), La Generale di Napoli, [late 19th century], gouache. Graphic Arts Italian drawings.

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Attributed to Girolano Gianni (1837-1895), Eruzione dell’Anno 1806, [late 19th century], gouache. Graphic Arts Italian drawings.

Mount Vesuvius, a volcano in the gulf of Naples, is best known for erupting in the year 79 and destroying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. According to T.A. Schneer’s The History of Vesuvius from A.D. 79 to A.D. 1907, there have also been major eruptions in 1794, 1822, 1834, 1850 and 1872. Almost a dozen of these explosions were depicted by Gianni for the local tourist market.

Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti (Maltese Heritage Foundation) identified this Neapolitan artist as Girolamo Gianni and mounted an exhibition of his paintings in 1994, providing the following biography:

Neapolitan artist Girolamo Gianni (1837-1895) first came to Malta in 1867, apparently to evaluate the local market. Evidently his stay was successful, as a year later he returned with his family. During the two decades of his Maltese sojourn, Gianni built up a profitable business running a busy bodega, producing small souvenir paintings and large commissioned works. His works feature topographically accurate landscapes, street scenes, and seascapes, and provide a romantic and idyllic record of daily life in Malta.

Soviet Anti-Religion Caricatures

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Belief is harmful, more harmful than wine
russian car6.jpgThe power of the engines which overcomes the power of the church
russian car2.jpgBy and by the bishops ate

russian car7.jpgHoly preachers who are kicked? with proletarian plasters?
russian car3.jpgMan does not need a heavenly reward

russian car5.jpgThe voice of god is destined for the rich
russian car8.jpgLava is coming with unscrupulous lies

Notes from the Library of Congress on the anti-religion campaigns in the Soviet Union.
“The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed. The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited. By 1939 only about 500 of over 50,000 churches remained open.”

See also:

Graphic Arts ephemera, GC149



Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich (1712-1774). [A collection of 73 choice examples of the etched work of Dietrich]. [S.l.: s.n., 1741-1769]. [62] leaves of plates, 72 etchings, 1 relief print. Supplied title from auction catalogue clipping on upper paste-down. Bookplate of William Horatio Crawford, Lakelands, Cork. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2008-0501Q

C.W.E. Dietrich, also known as Dietricy, was appointed court painter to Frederick-Augustus II and later, inspector of the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden. Near the end of his life, he accepted the position of professor of landscape painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste.

The Irish collector William Horatio Crawford (1812-1888) brought this set of Dietrich etchings together, most in their first state. A generous patron of the arts, Crawford lived in Ballinure, outside Cork on the Mahon peninsula, where he built a significant botanical garden and library.



Boekdruckereye te Haerlem


Unknown artist after Jan van de Velde II (ca. 1593-1641) after Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-1665), Boekdruckereye te Haerlem gevonden ontrent het Jaer 1440, no date [original 1628]. Collotype of etching. Graphic Arts GA2011- in process

Graphic Arts holds a collotype of Jan van de Velde’s etching after Saenredam’s illustration of a fifteenth-century print shop. This is one of seventeen prints, most drawn by Saenredam, for the 3rd edition of Samuel Ampzing’s Beschryvinge ende lof der stad Haerlem… (Description and Praise of the City of Haarlem) (1628).

Three men are depicted including a compositor working in the back at the type cases, a printer in the foreground comparing two proof sheets, and barely visible behind him, another pressman operating the press.

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Saenredam and Velde created a second view of the same shop (at the left). This is meant to be the printing shop of Lourens Janszoon Coster (ca. 1370-ca. 1440), an early Dutch printer of incunables. The second print asserts that Coster was the inventor of printing in Europe, a claim that has long since been dropped.

See also: Douglas C. McMurtrie (1888-1944), The Dutch Claims to the Invention of Printing (Chicago, 1928). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2006-1281N

The Political "Siamese" Twins, 1864

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The Political “Siamese” Twins: The Offspring of Chicago Miscegenation, 1864. Lithograph. Published New York: Currier & Ives. Graphic Arts GA 2011- in process.

The firm of Currier & Ives produced this caricature around the Chicago Democratic National Convention in 1864. The oddly-paired democratic ticket included George B. McClellan (1826-1885) and “Gentleman” George Hunt Pendelton (1825-1889), shown here as Siamese twins. They are held together by “the party tie.” McClellan says, “It was not I that did it fellow Soldiers!! but with this unfortunate attachment I was politically born at Chicago!” Pendleton says, “I dont care how many letters Mac writes, if it brings him votes; for every vote for him, count one for me!!”

Leech on Fishing


John Leech (1817-1864), Fishing is the Best Sport for a Retired Schoolmaster - As He Can Still Exhibit his Partiality for the Rod, 1850. Watercolor on paper. Graphic Arts GA 2006.02346.


John Leech (1817-1864), Contemplating a Day’s Fishing, Mr. Briggs Gets His Tackle in Order, and Trys the Management of His Running Line, ca. 1860. Watercolor on board. Design for plate one in Mr. Briggs & His Doings. Fishing (London: Bradbury & Evans [1860]). Graphic Arts GA 2006.02345

For the book, see:Mr. Briggs & His Doings. Fishing. Rare Books: Otto von Kienbusch Angling Collection (ExKi) Oversize 2003-0004F

Expositor of Imposture and Folly

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George Cruikshank (1792-1878), "The Antiquarian Society" in Scourge, or, Monthly Expositor of Imposture and Folly (June 1812): 431. Graphic Arts GA Cruik 1811.2.

One of George Cruikshank's early jobs was creating the frontispiece caricatures for William N. Jones's satirical journal The Scourge; first subtitled: Monthly Expositor of Imposture and Folly and then, Literary, Theatrical, and Miscellaneous Magazine, and finally, Monthly Expositor of Literary, Dramatic, Medical, Political, Mercantile and Religious Imposture and Folly (1811-1816).

These large hand-colored foldouts were often attacks on the royal family and leading politicians, although this 1812 satire looks at book collectors. An accompanying article notes that antiquarians "collect materials without any regard to their utility, and without attempting to facilitate the study of antiquities, by arranging them in classes, and by pointing out their dependence on each other, or their connection with collateral branches of investigation." It goes on.

Brandeis wrote a nice piece about Scourge in their blog:

Balloon in the Pantheon


Valentine Green (1739-1813) after a design by Frederick George Byron (1764-1792), A Representation of Mr. Lunardi’s Balloon, as Exhibited in the Pantheon, 1784. Aquatint. GC014 Aeronautical Illustrations Collection.

The Balloon Stone (Lunardi Monument) at Standon Green End reads: “Let posterity know, and knowing be astonished, that on the 15th day of September 1784 Vincent Lunardi of Lucca in Tuscany, the first aerial traveller in Britain, mounting from the artillery ground in London and traversing the regions of the air for two hours and fifteen minutes, in this spot revisited the earth.” Lunardi flew twenty-four miles with a dog, a cat, and a pigeon. The cat got airsick. His balloon was then exhibited in the Pantheon.

This print is one of 400 in the Aeronautical illustration collection, collected by Harold Fowler McCormick and given to Princeton University by Alexander Stillman of Chicago, a relative of the McCormick family. Here are a few others.


Grand Jubilee in Honour of Peace, 1814. Published by John Pitts (1765-1844), Engraving with printed color. GC014 Aeronautical Illustrations Collection. This Jubilee on Augt. 1, 1814 was to Celebrate the return of Peace and the centenary of the reign of the illustrious House of Brunswick and to commemorate the glorious battle of the nile.


Thomas Shotter Boys (1803-1874), Piccadilly Looking Towards the City published in London As It Is, 1842. Lithograph. GC014 Aeronautical Illustrations Collection


Paul Gauci (active 1834-1866), A View in the Neighbourhood of Sevenoaks Selected by Mr. T. R. Jolliffe and Professor Cornillot for the Scene of Their First Aerial Ascent, no date (after 1825). Lithograph. GC014 Aeronautical Illustrations Collection


Thomas Rowlandson (1756 or 1757-1827), The Departure of the Balloon from Dover, 1794. Etching. GC014 Aeronautical Illustrations Collection

S.J. Woolf: Drawn from Life

woolf15.jpgSamuel Johnson Woolf (1880-1948), Self-portrait, 1938. Charcoal and white chalk on paper. Graphic Arts collection 2006-02518

In December of 1949, The New York Times ran an article announcing a new exhibition at the Princeton University Library entitled “Drawn From Life: Original Portraits by S.J. Woolf.” Woolf had died of Lou Gehrig’s disease the year before and the show was undoubtedly organized by Elmer Adler (1884-1962), who also exhibited Woolf’s portraits in 1930 at his Pynson Printer’s gallery, located in the New York Times building.

“It represents three decades of Woolf’s activities in catching the celebrities of this generation in the mirror contrived by his pencil and his pen,” writes H. I. Brock. “The subjects are men and women famous in many walks of life…. And it is not less interesting because most of the portraits … were made originally for the [New York] Times .”

Brock’s only complaint was that Woolf’s most famous portrait, that of George Bernard Shaw, was not included. Days later, in a letter to the editor, Howard C. Rice, Jr. of Princeton’s Department of Rare Books & Special Collections reported that Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Colen of Holicong, PA had read the story and loaned the drawing, which they owned, to the University exhibition.

After the close of the exhibition, all the charcoal drawings were returned to Woolf’s widow. Now, over sixty years later, thanks to the generous gift of Sue Kessler Feld and Stuart P. Feld, Class of 1957, we again have a substantial collection of Woolf’s portraits. Here is a small selection.

Aristide Briand (1862-1932). Served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France. Drawing published on the front page of The New York Times, May 25, 1930.

woolf1.jpgSamuel John Gurney Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood (1880-1959). British Foreign Minister; authored the Hoare-Laval Pact with French Prime Minister Pierre Laval. Published in Newsweek Aug. 31, 1935
woolf5.jpg Helen Rogers (Mrs. Ogden Mills) Reid, (1882-1970). President of The New York Herald Tribune; Herald Tribune Corporation; and Chairman of the Board. Published in Newsweek Nov. 23, 1935.

woolf10.jpgEdouard Herriot (1872-1957). French politician, served three times as Prime Minister and President of the Chamber of Deputies. Published in NY Herald Tribune, Feb. 17, 1929.
woolf3.jpgHugh Gibson (1880-1948). American diplomat, active in Poland 1919-1924. Published in NYT Magazine, June 21, 1931.

woolf8.jpgDr. Graeme M. Hammond (1858-1944). Neurologist and professor of nervous diseases at NYU Medical School. Published in NYT Magazine Mar. 13, 1938.
woolf9.jpg Margaret Grace Bondfield (1863-1935). English Labor politician, the first woman Cabinet Minister and one of the first three female Labor MPs. Published in NYT Magazine July 28, 1929.
woolf6.jpgLeonor Fresnel Loree (1858-1940). President of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, among others. Chairmain of the Rutgers Board of Trustees Committee on New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass College). Published in Newsweek Sept. 14, 1935.
woolf12.jpgEvangeline Cory Booth (1865-1950). Founder of the British Salvation Army and later General of the United States Salvation Army. Raised over $12,000 for relief work after SF earthquake. Published in Newsweek Nov. 10, 1934.

woolf7.jpg Maude Royden (1876-1956). England’s most famous woman preacher and suffragist; first woman to receive a Doctor of Divinity. Published in Newsweek, Jan. 23, 1937.
woolf4.jpg J. Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937). British politician who was the first Labor Prime Minister. Published in NY Herald Tribune Magazine, Sept. 1, 1929.

Frankenstein Outdone

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John Phillips (active 1825-1831), One of the Graces Making a Man; or Frankenstein Outdone, 1827. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts GA British prints

On June 16, 1827, the actress Harriot Mellon (1777-1837) married William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St. Albans (1801-1849). At age fifty, it was Harriot’s second marriage and William’s first. He was twenty-six. Harriot’s first marriage was to Thomas Coutts, a banker in his eighties.

There are two series of Mellon caricatures, the first making fun of her marriage to an old man (assuming it was for his money) and the second making fun of her marriage to a young man (portraying her as an over-powering matriarch). Harriot is usually given a mustache and seen taking control.

Here, the Duke is being measured for a new pair of trousers while his wife puts a feather in his cap. At her feet is a comic mask from the theater and bags of money (from her first husband). On the wall, we see the portrait of King Charles II and his mistress, the actress Eleanor (Nell) Gwynne.

Below the title:
Kings may boast of their efforts in making of Dukes
But those sages may try if they can,
With their planning and scheming and practice to boot,
Without money to make me a Man.

No, no! the wise elves to my Duchess must bow,
One and all must acknowledge her plan,
That with Staymakers, Tailors, and money, she now
Most completely has made me a Man.

And how wisely she’s acted we very well know;
‘Twas a Man that she wanted, she said
And the thing when once wanted, amongst high or low
Must be had, and the price must be paid

So with heart like a hero, & face like a Turk
She (her mind fully bent on the plan)
Mustacheo’d & whisker’d went boldly to work
And thus you see made me a Man.

Auguste Brouet

Auguste Brouet (1872-1941), Untitled [Refugees], ca. 1918. Drypoint. Edition 14/30. Graphic Arts GC077 French Prints Collection

This beautiful drypoint was discovered inside a collection of French World War I prints and posters. The artist can be identified by his signature, Auguste Brouet (1872-1941), a printmaker who was born and lived all his life in Paris. As of yet, no title can be found for this image of refugees traveling along a country road.

Writing in The International Studio (1920), Marcel Valotaire described the career of this little known artist: “At the age of sixteen he made his first attempt at etching, using as his sole implement a nail, and as his plate a scrap of zinc gutter-pipe with a ground— if one may so call it—of floor polish. The proof obtained from a single biting of this little plate, Les petits Joueurs de Dis, is quite remarkable, and arrests attention because it immediately reminds one of Rembrandt, although at that time the youthful debutant was completely unaware of the great Dutch master’s existence as an etcher, and certainly had never seen one of his etchings. Thus from this early beginning as an aquafortist, Brouet has remained himself, and his manner and style are borrowed from no one, but are peculiarly his own.”

Happy Thanksgiving.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, no date [ca. 1845]. Oil on board. C022 Cruikshank Collection

George Cruikshank (1792-1878) is perhaps best known for his illustrations of Charles Dickens’ novels, Sketches by Boz (1836) and Oliver Twist (1838) in particular. During the 1840s, Cruikshank’s relationship with Dickens went sour and he moved to other projects of his own creation. These include George Cruikshank’s Omnibus (1841) and George Cruikshank’s Table Book (1845), as well as his Comic Almanack (1835-53).

During this period, we believe he was also working out the illustrations to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Princeton holds several sketches and a finished oil painting of Act III, scene I between Bottom and Titania. Please note that we have digitally removed some of the varnish to make the image easier to see.


George Cruikshank (1792-1878), A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Bottom the Weaver and Titania, no date. Watercolor with heavy varnishing. GC022 Cruikshank Collection.


George Cruikshank (1792-1878), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Sc. I: O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray, masters! Fly, masters! Help!, no date [ca. 1845]. Watercolor on paper. GC022 Cruikshank Collection

Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state;
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

Severo Sarduy, novelist, critic, poet, and painter

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Severo Sarduy (1937-1993), Landscape, 1980. Acrylic on cloth. 27 x 41 cm.

Thanks to the assistance of the Executive Committee for the Program in Latin American Studies, Graphic Arts recently acquired thirty-four painting and drawings by the novelist, critic, poet, and visual artist Severo Sarduy (1937-1993). Artifacts from his studio accompany the paintings, along with several works by his friends Roland Barthes, Jorge Camacho, and José Luis Cuevas.

Kamel Ouidi, Portrait of Severo Sarduy, ca. 1980. Gelatin silver print.

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Severo Sarduy (1937-1993), Triptych (I, II, III), 1990. Coffee and acrylic on linen. 27 x 19 cm.

sarduy extra3.jpg Jorge Camacho (1934-2011), Placard Sarduy, 1976. Text by Sarduy. Lithograph. Edition of 500. 87.4 x 59.4 cm.
sarduy extra4.jpg Severo Sarduy (1937-1993), Untitled, no date. Mixed media on paper. 53.5 x 35.5 cm.

Born in Camagüey Cuba, Sarduy was sent to Paris in 1960 to study art at the École du Louvre and never returned. Even after becoming a French citizen, however, he wrote, "I am a Cuban through and through, who just happens to live in Paris." His second novel De donde son los cantantes (From Cuba with a Song) involves three narratives intertwined with the history of Cuba.

In Paris, Sarduy became close friends with Roland Barthes, Philippe Sollers, and other writers connected with journal Tel Quel. His third novel, Cobra (1972), translated by Sollers won the Prix Medicis for a work of foreign literature in translation. In addition to his own writing, Sarduy edited, published and promoted the work of many other Spanish and Latin American authors first at Editions Seuil and then Editions Gallimard.

In Sarduy's 1993 obituary in The Independent, James Kirkup wrote, "Sarduy was a genius with words, one of the great contemporary stylists writing in Spanish. ... Sarduy will be remembered chiefly for his brilliant, unpredictable, iconoclastic and often grimly funny novels, works of a totally liberated imagination composed by a master of disciplined Spanish style. He encompassed the sublime and the ridiculous, mingling oral traditions with literary mannerisms adopted from his baroque masters ...."

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Severo Sarduy (1937-1993), Untitled, 1967. Acrylic on paper. 14 x 20 cm.

Sarduy continued to draw and paint throughout his life. A retrospective of his art was held in 1998 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and many of the painting now at Princeton were first seen by the public at this exhibition.

"I write only in order to make myself well," Sarduy once said. "I write in an attempt to become normal, to be like everybody else, even though it's obvious I am not. I am a neurotic creature, a prey to phobias, burdened with obsessions and anxieties. And instead of going to a psychoanalyst or committing suicide or abandoning myself to drink and drugs, I write. That's my therapy."

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Severo Sarduy (1937-1993), Untitled, 1991. Acrylic on paper. 32 x 47.5 cm.

More information on Sarduy and this new collection will be published in an upcoming issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle, including an essay by his colleague François Wahl. Until then, here is an interview with Sarduy completed shortly before his death:

Miss Brewster, age 24


Unknown artist, Beulah Brewster, age 24, 1896. Pastel on canvas. 100 x 57 cm. GC059 American drawings and paintings.

This is a portrait of the young woman who would become Mrs. Beulah Rollins, wife of Philip Ashton Rollins (1869-1950), the founder of the Friends of the Princeton University Library and of the Western Americana collections. Here’s a biographical note from our finding aid to the Rollins collection: “Rollins was born in Somersworth, New Hampshire and spent a good deal of time during his youth out West, where he developed a fascination with a culture and lifestyle that would last his entire life. He attended Princeton University and graduated in 1889. He and his wife, Beulah “Pack” Rollins, settled in New York City, where he practiced law. Despite their East Coast home, Mr. and Mrs. Rollins spent much of their time traveling through the western United States.”

Red Wine and Cocaine

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Jules Chéret (1836-1932), Vin Mariani, [1895]. Color lithograph. Graphic Arts GC077 French prints

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In 1894, Angelo Mariani (1821-1873) commissioned a poster (left) from the leading French lithographer Jules Chéret (1836-1932) to advertise a medicinal tonic made from Bordeaux wine soaked with coca leaves. Mariani claimed the drink would supply extra energy, vitality, and general good health.

Newspaper advertising stressed the “wonderful properties of Coca are now very generally known. …Besides its action as a general tonic, [Vin Mariani] has been found of especial use in Diseases of the Stomach and of the Respiratory and Vocal Organs. …It is especially adapted, on account of its nice taste, for Children.”

To read more about Mariani’s wine, see his publication Coca and Its Therapeutic Application (New York: J. N. Jaros, 1890). Firestone Library (F) RS165.C5 M375 1890.

After the poster was released, a second print (see above) was prepared for a January 6, 1895 supplement to the weekly Le Courrier français: littérature, beaux-arts, théâtres, médecine, finance (Paris: Jules Roques, 1884-1908). This variant image came with a poem by Hughes Delorme:

Regardez bondir en plein ciel
La superbe danseuse rousse
Tenant de l’index et du pouce
Le nectar providentiel:

Rieuse de s’être grisée,
elle verse toujours, encor…
La fraiche clarté du décor
Fait resplendir sa chair rosée;

Sa chair que l’on pairait cher; et
Qui ne frissonne, hélas! qu’en rêve;
Charme furif; vision brève
Que pour nous évoqua Chéret.

Pour avoir sa grâce robuste,
—O ballerines d’Opéra
Sur qui la fatigue opéra
Le morne écroulement du buste,—

Il vous faut, le travail fini
Les gazes une fois rangées,
Avaler quatre ou cinq gorgées
du bon Vin de Mariani.

See plates 1119-1124 in Jules Chéret (1836-1932), La Belle Époque de Jules Chéret: de l’affiche au décor (Paris: Les Arts décoratifs/BNF, 2010). Firestone Library (F) Oversize ND553.C582 B374 2010q.

Proof after Paul Revere

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Richard Bishop (1897-1975) after Paul Revere (1735-1818), A View of the Obelisk Erected under Liberty-Tree in Boston on the Rejoicings for the Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766 (printing plate); 1943 (restrike). Etching. Graphic Arts GA 2008-00310

This schematic etching illustrates all four sides of a 1766 obelisk erected in Boston to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. Silversmith Paul Revere (1735-1818) helped to design the obelisk and the original etching. Our sheet was pulled in 1943 by Pennsylvania printmaker Richard E. Bishop off Revere’s copper plate.

The text at the bottom reads: “To every Lover of Liberty, this Plate is humbly dedicated, by her true born Sons, in Boston New England.” Followed by a poetic description of the iconography on each side of the obelisk: “1. America in distress apprehending the total loss of Liberty. 2. She implores the aid of her Patrons. 3. She endures the Conflict for a short Season, and 4. And has her Liberty restor[e]d by the Royal hand of George the Third.”

Through a series of owners, the plate was finally purchased by Lessing J. Rosenwald (1891-1979) for $5,500 in the early twentieth century. Before donating it, along with a group of prints, to the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Rosenwald engaged the master printer Richard Bishop to pull a series of modern proofs (a common practice at the time). Nineteen prints were given to the major university collections in the area and fortunately, one was offered to my predecessor Elmer Adler for the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University.

Emily Faithfull and the first Western printing press operated by women


Unknown artist, Portrait of Emily Faithfull, ca. 1860-70. Watercolor with pencil. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process.

At the age of twenty-three, Emily Faithfull (1835-1895) fell in with a group of women led by Barbara Leigh Smith, who called themselves the “Langham Place Circle.” These ladies worked together to promote women’s suffrage and other social reforms, such as a campaign to have university examinations opened to women. In 1859, Faithfull and the others formed the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women.

In their search for skilled professions suitable for women, Faithfull and Bessie Parkes looked into the printing trade, specifically the position of the compositor. The two women bought a small press and took a few lessons to see if they were capable of performing this job, which of course they were.

On March 25, 1860, Faithfull used her own money to establish the Victoria Press with female compositors and proof-readers, and some men to do the heavy lifting. The Society for Promoting the Employment of Women apprenticed five girls to the Press at premiums of £10 each; others were apprenticed by relatives and friends.

Serious objections came from the London Printer’s Union, an all male organization, which claimed that women lacked the intelligence to be compositors (“The job requires the application of a mechanical mind and the female mind is not mechanical”).

At the same time, Faithfull had many supporters. Prominent authors including Alfred Tennyson, William Makepeace Thackeray, Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, and Anthony Trollope offered material to be printed and published by these women. The result was The Victoria Regia, A Volume of Original Contributions in Poetry & Prose (1861 (Ex) 3955.379).

On July 23, 1860, Emily Faithfull sent a letter to the editor of The Times (London). “So great is the success of this office,” wrote Faithfull, “that I have more work at this moment than my 12 women compositors can undertake, and I shall therefore be glad to receive six or eight girls immediately. They must be under 16 years of age, and apply personally at my office next week.”

The Victoria Press was a commercial success, operating for over twenty years, and leading to Faithfull’s appointment as “Printer and Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.”

Will H. Bradley


Twenty-three-year-old editor Herbert Stuart Stone understood the power of advertising. In 1894, he commissioned artist Will Bradley (1868-1962) to create seven posters to advertise his new literary magazine The Chap Book. The first poster, often referred to as The Twins, is seen above. Originally based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stone and Kimball relocated their publishing house and the magazine to Chicago, Illinois after six months. Thanks in big part to Bradley’s eye-catching designs, Stone’s semi-monthly magazine lasted until 1898, when it merged with The Dial.

There are two variation in The Twins; one on white paper and one on yellow. Each are signed in the bottom left, WILL H | BRADLEY ‘94. The press complained that if you squinted, Bradley’s design looked like an oddly-shaped red turkey.

Will H. Bradley, Poster for The Chap-Book, May 1894. Lithograph. Graphic arts poster collection.

Louis-Léopold Boilly

I never posted the details for the image at the top of this blog, printed by François-Séraphin Delpech (1778-1825) after a painting by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845), Les amateurs de tableaux (The Art Connoisseurs), 1823-1828. Lithograph. Graphic Arts GC077 French prints


This is one of ninety-six lithographs created and published under the series Recueil de grimaces (A Collection of Grimaces) between 1823 and 1828. A copy of this print, along with several other Boilly caricatures, is included in the current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine. One of the Grimaces is also on the cover of the excellent catalogue written by our colleagues Constance McPhee and Nadine Orenstein.

Boilly’s Grimaces were created and sold in separate sheets rather than bound or in portfolio and so, they are usually not recorded in databases such as OCLC. While these prints were extremely popular and sold well, complete sets are very rare and to my knowledge, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France is the only institution with all ninety-six.

For an image of Delpech’s print shop, see the earlier post: /~graphicarts/2007/11/theprintshopoff_delpech.html

The first international retrospective of Boilly’s work opens at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in November to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the artist’s birth. For more information, see

For more information about the artist, see Louis Boilly (1761-1845), Grimaces, Léopold Boilly, 1994. Marquand Library (SA), ND553.B4 D445 1994q.

Louis Boilly (1761-1845), L.-L. Boilly, peintre, dessinateur, et lithographe; sa vie et son œuvre, 1761-1845, 1898. Marquand Lib.ND553.B4 H24.

Louis Boilly (1761-1845), Louis Boilly, 1761-1845, 1984. Marquand Library (SA) ND553.B4 L68.

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