Recently in Prints, Drawings, Paintings Category

Wilson's Triple Wall of Privilege

Fred G. Cooper (1883-1962), Untitled [Woodrow Wilson], 1913. Pen, ink wash, and gouache drawing. Graphic Arts GA2009.00463

Cooper designed this political cartoon in response to Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) and his 1913 “triple wall of privilege,” which sought to reorganize the tariffs, the banks, and the trusts in the United States. During the first year of his presidency, Wilson proposed the Underwood Tariff Bill to help lower the general rate from about 40% to 26%. This led to the first American income tax, based on a graduated scale that started on incomes over $3000. Wilson also put into place the Federal Reserve Act, with a Federal Reserve Bank in each of twelve regions. Finally, he focused on the reorganization of trusts and after much convincing, the Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914 was passed banning price discrimination.

Fred G. Cooper was born in Oregon and educated at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco, before moving to New York City in 1904 to find work as a freelance artist. He created designs for New York Edison (or ConEd), Westinghouse, and the U.S. War Department, among many others. This cartoon was probably for Life magazine, where he contributed drawings from 1904 to the 1930’s, although I have not yet found the issue.

(btw: The year after this cartoon was published, Cooper was one of fourteen graphic artists to form the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), along with Frederic W. Goudy, Hal Marchbanks, and William Edwin Rudge. The only membership requirement, besides $25 dues, was that each member had to buy his own Windsor chair.)

Candlelight Compositions

William Pether (ca. 1738-1821), after a painting by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797), The Philosopher Reading a Lecture on the Orrery, 1768. Mezzotint. Graphic Arts GA 2005.01523

British painter Joseph Wright of Derby is best known for two oil paintings, A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery in which a Lamp is put in Place of the Sun (ca. 1764-1766) and Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768). Each employs a strong, realistic light source to produce a dramatic scene with heightened areas of light and shadow; the age of enlightenment made visible. These scenes of bright whites and rich blacks were nicknamed candlelight compositions and their popularity was amplified when large-scale mezzotint reproductions were printed and sold.

We call the artist Wright of Derby to distinguish him from artists Richard Wright (1735-ca. 1775) and Joseph Wright (1756-1793), also exhibiting around the same period. Wright of Derby’s Philosopher (Art Gallery at Derby, Derbyshire, England) presents a lecture on the movement of the planets around the sun, using a mechanical model called an orrery. The figures may represent the collector who bought the painting, Washington Shirley, 5th Earl Ferrers, along with his friends and family. The lecturer is reminiscent of Isaac Newton, whose theories on the movement of the planets and universal gravitation were published in 1687. There is a portrait of Newton by Godfrey Kneller that may have been the inspiration for this figure (

Graphic Arts’ impression of this print, along with an orrery, will be on view in the Milberg Gallery beginning February 7 in the exhibition: Envisioning the World.

For more information, see Elizabeth E. Barker, “New Light on The Orrery: Joseph Wright and the Representation of Astronomy in 18th-century Britain,” British Art Journal 1, no. 2 (Spring 2000): 29-37.

Washington at Princeton

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Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888), Washington at Princeton January 3d 1777, 1846. Color lithograph. Gift of Edward L. Howe. Graphic Arts Portraits of George Washington Collection.

Inscribed: “At this important crisis, the soul of Washington rose superior to danger, seizing a standard he advanced uncovered before the columns and reigning his steed towards the emeny with his sword flashing in the rays of the rising sun, he waved on the troops behind him to the charge. Inspirited by his example the Militia sprang forward and delivered an effective fire which stopped the progress of the enemy.”

See also: Currier & Ives: a Catalogue Raisonne (Detroit: Galer Research, 1983). No. 5420. Graphic Arts Oversize GA NE2312.C8 A4 1983q

Audubon's pastels

John James Audubon (1785-1851), Red-Shouldered Falcon (Red-Shouldered Hawk), 1809. Pastel and pencil. Graphic Arts GC154. Gift of Edwin N. Benson, Jr., Class of 1899 and Mrs. Benson in memory of their son, Peter Benson, Class of 1938.

This pastel represents one of Audubon’s early attempts at drawing the various species of the birds of America. He began by using pastels, moved to watercolors, and the final published albums contain hand-colored aquatints. A later watercolor version (in the New York Historical Society) was used for the engraving by Robert Havell that became plate 56 of the Birds of America. The descriptive text for this plate reads: “Red-shouldered Hawk, Falco Lineatus, Gmel., Male, 1. Female, 2.; issued in 1829” as listed in Ornithological Biography, I, 296-99.

Inscribed “Falls of the Ohio, 29th November, 1809,” Princeton’s drawing was eliminated from the final selection by 1824, the year when Audubon sold it and others to his newly discovered friend Edward Harris (1799-1863). Harris not only paid Audubon $30 for the drawings but gave the artist an extra $100, saying “such men ought not to want for money.”

For an extended essay about this pastel, see The Princeton University Library Chronicle 15, no. 4 (Summer 1954): 169-78.

An Insane American

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), after a sketch by George Arnald (1763-1841), William [James] Norris: an Insane American. Rivetted Alive in Iron, & for Many Years Confined, in that State, by Chains 12 Inches Long to an Upright Massive Bar in a Cell in Bethlem. Published by William Hone, London, July 1815. Etching with aquatint. Gift of Richard W. Meirs, class of 1888. Graphic Arts GC022 Cruikshank Collection.

Founded in 1247, Bethlem was a priory for the sisters and brothers of the Order of the Star of Bethlehem. It was first used as a hospital in 1330 and first housed patients recorded as “lunatics” in 1403. During the 18th century, the asylum, now nicknamed Bedlam, was opened to public visitors, a penny each and free on the first Tuesday of the month. 96,000 visitors were recorded in 1814.

One such visitor that year was the philanthropist, Edward Wakefield (1774-1854). He was shocked to see James (reported as William) Norris (17??-1814), once an American seaman, now chained to his bed. Norris had been admitted in 1800 and so terrorized the small staff that in June 1804 he was permanently confined in an iron harness. Ten years later when Wakefield visited, Norris was still in the same spot.

Norris’s isolation and constraints were described at the time:

A stout iron ring was riveted round his neck, from which a short chain passed through a ring made to slide upwards and downwards on an upright massive iron bar, more than six feet high, inserted into the wall. Round his body a strong iron bar about 12 inches wide was riveted; on each side of the bar was a ring; which was fashioned to and enclosed each of his arms, pinioned them close to his sides.

Wakefield was joined by William Hone (1774-1854) and James Bevans (1780-1842) to campaign for change in the conditions for patients, not only in Bedlam but throughout England. Their work led to the formation of the Committee on Madhouses in April 1815. Cruikshank was hired to etch Norris’s portrait, including the inscription: Sketch from the Life in Bethlem, 7th June 1814, by G. Arnald, Esq., A.R.A. Etched by G. Cruikshank from the Original Drawing Exhibited to the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Madhouses, 1815.

Although Norris was removed from his shackles, he died within a few months. Bedlam was closed and the facility moved to a new home in Lambeth (today the home to the Imperial War Museum). For more on the history of the Bethlam hospital, see:

The Repeal, or The Funeral Procession of Miss Americ-Stamp

After Benjamin Wilson (1721-1788), The Repeal, or the Funeral of Miss Americ-Stamp, 1766. BM 4140 copy B. Engraving with etching and contemporary hand coloring. Graphic Arts GA 2010. in process.

The Stamp Act of 1765 generated intense opposition with the American colonists, who called for a boycott of British imports. Needing the revenue from American trade, the British Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in 1766.

The Marques of Rockingham, only recently named Prime Minister, had the difficult job of convincing Parliament of the benefits of this repeal. To help sway public opinion, he commissioned the artist Benjamin Wilson (1721-1788) to draw two satirical prints. The first, published in February 1766, was titled The Tombstone and showed leading “hard liners” dancing on the tomb of the Duke of Cumberland. The second, seen here, was published on March 18, the day Parliament voted the repeal.

The main focus of the print is a funeral procession of Stamp Act supporters carrying a child’s coffin (the Act was only four months old). At the lead is William Scott or Anti-Sejanus, who reads from a sermon. Scott is followed by Solicitor-General Wedderburn and Attorney General Fletcher Norton, carrying flags that display the vote against the repeal; then George Grenville, Lord Bute, Lord Temple, Lord Halifax, and Lord Sandwich. They walk along a harbor that represents the Rockingham ministry with three ships labeled “Conway,” “Rockingham,” and “Grafton.”

Benjamin Franklin was a friend of Wilson and when he received a copy of the print, Franklin wrote, “I think he was wrong to put in Lord Bute, who had nothing to do with the Stamp Act. But it is the Fashion to abuse that Nobleman, as the Author of all Mischief.”

The Repeal quickly became “the most popular satirical print ever issued” according to R.T. Haines Halsey, “Impolitical Prints,” Bulletin of the New York Public Library 43, no.11 (Nov. 1939). Within three days the publisher issued an advertisement requesting patience because he could not keep up with all the orders he had received. Within the week other print sellers were issuing their own versions of Wilson’s scene.

According to the Dictionary of National Biography’s entry on Wilson, the print was titled “The Repeal; or, the Funeral of Miss Ame-Stamp. It was sold for one shilling and brought Wilson 100 pounds in four days. On the fifth day it was pirated, and two inferior versions produced at six-pence.” The British Museum’s catalogue identifies the original etching and six variant editions, A-F.

Graphic Arts recently acquired an excellent impression of copy B, a reduced, chiefly engraved version of Wilson’s print. Processional figures are reproduced on the same scale as the original but the background buildings and ships are altered to fit on a smaller sheet. A descriptive text, once sold separately, is here engraved below the image along with a slightly altered title, now “Americ-Stamp”.

See a copy of [An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties] (London: Printed by Mark Baskett, 1765). Rare Books, William H. Scheide Library (WHS) 16.5.9

E.P. Richardson, “Stamp Act Cartoons in the Colonies,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 96, no. 3 (July 1972).

Tableau des papiers monnoies

François Bonneville (active 1787-1810), Tableau des papiers monnoies qui ont eut cours depuis l’époque de la Révolution Française, Published Paris: François Bonneville, 1797. Hand-colored engraving. Graphic Arts GA 2009.01180

On February 19, 1796, a bonfire of money was built and then burned on Paris’s Place des Piques. The bills were assignat, the state bond used as the national currency since 1789. According to Richard Taws, the ritual incineration of the assignats “signaled a rupture … intended to register a self-conscious break with the past.” In the months following, a number of trompe l’oeil engravings of crumbled, old assignats began to circulate throughout Paris. The example shown here, both engraved and published by François Bonneville, shows a group of scattered bills, perhaps tossed in a gesture of despair at their worthlessness during that period of hyperinflation.

For more, see Richard Taws, “Trompe-l’Oeil and Trauma: Money and Memory after the Terror,” Oxford Art Journal 30, no. 3 (2007)

The Brazen Image of Pitt

Charles Williams (1797-1830), The Brazen Image Erected on a Pedestal Wrought by Himself, 1802. Hand-colored etching. Published by S W Fores, London. Graphic Arts (GAX) Rowlandson Collection. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

This caricature shows a statue of William Pitt, the Younger (1759-1806), a British politician who, at the age of twenty-four, became the youngest Prime Minister of England. The yellow Pitt stands on a pedestal whose base reads: Increase of National debt 250-000-000. The stone under the statue says: Sic itur ad astra (thus you shall go to the stars), Income Tax. Smaller blocks are inscribed: Horse Duty, Tax on Beer, Tax on Malt, Additional House Tax, Additional Window Tax, Hat Duty, and so on. Pitt holds papers in his right hand marked ‘Budget” and at his left is a rudder decorated with a dolphin.

To the left of the statue stands Charles James Fox (1749-1806), a prominent British Whig statesman and the arch-rival of Pitt. With him is the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) who was also a Member of Parliament aligned with the British Whig Party. Fox says: “That Brass countenance of his never shone with more conspicuous confidence, one would think he was in the very [?] of proposing a new Tax.” Sheridan says: “There’s a Monument of Integrity, his Works not only follow, but support him, Nebuchadnazzars Brazen Image was nothing to it, Nor his people half so Idolatrous.”

The opposite pair is John Bull (the personification of England) and his wife Hibernia. He says: “Odzooks there’s the dear Image - , the promoter of our Union, and I suppose that there Writing there, is the account of all his wonderfull Works”. She says: “Why Mr Bull I thought he was the greatest Man we ever had, but its all Bodder, why by St Patrick, Mr OBrien (the Irish Giant) [i.e. Patrick Cotter] would make Six of him.”

The Assault, or Fencing Match

Victor Marie Picot (1744-1805), after a painting by Charles Jean Robineau (active by 1780, died ca. 1787), The Assaut, or Fencing Match, which took place at Carton House on the 9th of April, 1787, [1789]. Stipple engraving with aquatint. Graphic Arts Rowlandson collection. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

A 1787 fencing match between a man and a woman in the elegant rooms of Carlton House, London, before the Prince of Wales might seem like an unusual scene in itself but this is only the beginning of the intrigue.

The Prince had arranged this fencing demonstration between Mademoiselle d’Eon, seen on the right, and Monsieur de Saint George, on the left. It hardly mattered who won (and records vary as to the facts) since it was to spectacle of the two individuals that brought the audience to the match that day.

The figure on the right is Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont (1728-1810), commonly known as the Chevalier d’Eon, who lived the first half of his life as a man and the second half as a woman. He served as a spy to Louis XV, travelled extensively, and seemed to encourage the speculation that he was a woman in men’s clothing. By 1770, while living in London, d’Eon negotiated his return to France by happily agreeing to dress only as a woman.

The fencer on the left is Joseph de Bologne de Saint-Georges or the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), who was the son of a wealthy plantation owner in the French West Indies colony of Guadeloupe and one of his African slaves named Anne. Joseph was raised as a French African and lived under the barriers of people of color at that time in France. He studied and became a champion fencer as well as a composer and conductor. He was also one of the first Black Masons in France and founded the Société des amis des noirs (Society of the Friends of Black People).

By 1787, d’Eon had returned to London and made a meager living giving fencing demonstrations, such as this one with the visiting Saint-Georges, who was nicknamed “The God of Arms.” D’Eon was fifty-nine and Saint-Georges was forty-eight.

The French artist Charles Jean Robineau captured the match in an oil painting, which is today owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and held in the Royal Collection, RCIN 400636.

The French printmaker Picot reproduced and published Robineau’s painting as an engraving. A superb copy of this print was given to Princeton University by Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895, who was a collector of British caricature and believed it had been made by James Gillray.

For more information, see Gary Kates, Monsieur D’Eon is a Woman: a Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade (New York: Basic Books, 1995). Firestone Library (F):, DC135.E6 K37 1995

Pierre Bardin, Joseph, sieur de Saint-George: le chevalier noir ([Paris]: Guénégaud, [2006]) Firestone Library (F), DC137.5.S35 B37 2006.

Also of interest is d’Eon’s autobiography, written under the pseudonym M. de La Fortelle (1735?-1799), La vie militaire, politique et privee de demoiselle Charles-Genevieve-Louise-Auguste-Andree-Timothee Eon ou d’Eon de Beaumond … (Paris, 1779). Rare Books (Ex), 1509.171.327.55

The British Bee Hive

One of the last copper plate etchings George Cruikshank completed was this taxonomy of British society in the form of a beehive. Originally drawn in 1840, Cruikshank did not etch the design until February 1867, self-publishing the print in March of the same year. Graphic arts holds not only the original copper plate but also one of Cruikshank’s first pencil sketches for the print.

According to George Reid, the print “represents English society as it exists, and the folly of interfering with such a noble structure by means of Parliamentary Reform. The section displays fifty-four ‘cells,’ with each class and trade represented, from the royal family to the omnibus conductor, and having for a foundation the army, the navy, and the volunteers; surmounted by the crown, with the royal standard on one side, and the union jack on the other.” If you look closely, you will find book sellers in the middle left section.

Cohn notes that the print was sold by William Tweedie for one pound, uncolored. It was subsequently issued printed on a double sheet of letterpress, entitled A Penny Political Picture for the People.

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), The British Bee Hive [Preliminary sketch], 1840. Cohn 957. Pencil on paper. Graphic Arts, Cruikshank collection.

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), The British Bee Hive [copper plate], 1867. Cohn 957. Signed and dated in plate, l.r.: ‘Designed in the // year 1840 by // George Cruikshank // and altered & etched by him // in Febr. 1867 - & pubd. In March/67.’ Graphic Arts GA 2009.01179

New Year's resolutions are coming

St. Michael’s Temperance Diploma (New York: printed by Major & Knapp, 186?). Chromolithograph. Graphic Arts GC179 broadside collection.

“I promise with the Divine Assistance, to Abstain from All Intoxicating Liquors, except in case of Sickness, and to Prevent by Advice and Example, Intemperance in Others.”

Jack Sheppard: A Romance

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), [Illustrations to Jack Sheppard, by William H. Ainsworth (1805-1882)] (London: R. Bentley, 1839). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1839.01

William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882), Jack Sheppard: a Romance. Illustrations by George Cruikshank (London: R. Bentley, 1839). 3 volumes with 27 etchings. Includes 4 additional pencil drawings. Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1839

At the age of twenty-two, the handsome Cockney thief Jack Sheppard (1702-1724) was arrested and imprisoned five separate times in the same year. Each time he escaped, only to be captured again. Near the end of the year he was recaptured, convicted, and hanged.

During his final incarceration in Newgate prison, Sheppard was bound with three hundred pounds of iron weights. Guards charged visitors four shillings to see him. 200,000 people followed him through the streets of London to attend his hanging. A play based on his life opened less than two weeks later.

Dozens of book, plays, and songs have been written about Sheppard, including William Ainsworth’s novel Jack Sheppard, a Romance (seen here) illustrated by George Cruikshank. Ainsworth’s story was serialized in Bentley’s Miscellany beginning January 1839 and the complete book released before the end of the year, outselling Oliver Twist.

George Herbert Rodwell (1800-1852), Nix my dolly palls fake away: sung by Mrs. Keeley & P. Bedford, composed by G. Herbert Rodwell (London: D’Almaine, [ca. 1839]). Words by William H. Ainsworth and illustrations by George Cruikshank. The drama was first performed at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 28 October 1839. Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 1839.7.183-q

Here is a small selection of projects based on the life of Jack Sheppard:

  1. A narrative of his life, published by John Applebee Harlequin Sheppard (1724)
  2. A pantomime by Thurmond, performed in Drury Lane in December 1724
  3. The character of Macheath in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1728) and The Threepenny Opera of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill (1929)
  4. “Industry and Idleness,” a series of twelve engravings by William Hogarth (1747)
  5. Jack Sheppard the House-breaker (1825)
  6. A melodrama by W.T. Moncrieff Jack Sheppard
  7. A novel by William Harrison Ainsworth (1839) (later the same year adapted into a play by John Buckstone)
  8. Little Jack Sheppard, an operetta with libretto by Henry Pottinger Stephens and William Yardley, and score by Meyer Lutz (1885)
  9. Silent movies: The Hairbreadth Escape of Jack Sheppard (1900) and Jack Sheppard (1923)
  10. Where’s Jack? directed by James Clavell (1969)
  11. The Thieves’ Opera by Lucy Moore (1999)

Doctor Botherum, the Mountebank

Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), Doctor Botherum, the Mountebank, 1800. Etching with hand coloring. Graphic Arts, British caricatures, drawer 5

Joseph Grego (1843-1908), Rowlandson the Caricaturist (London: Chatto and Windus, 1880). Graphic Arts Collection (GARF)

In Joseph Grego’s narrative-style catalogue raisonné of Thomas Rowlandson’s prints (volume 2, p. 3), he speculates,

from the bustle and life visible on all sides it would seem that the period is fair time, when the rustics and agricultural population of the vicinity in general flock into the town, holiday-making. A travelling mountebank has established his theatre in the market-place; … while his attendants, Merry Andrew and Jack Pudding, are going through their share of the performance … The rural audience is solidly contemplating the antics of the party, without being particularly moved by Dr. Botherum’s imposing eloquence, these vagabond scamps being frequently clever rogues, blessed with an inexhaustible fund of bewildering oratory, and witty repartee at glib command.

Throughout the crowd, Rowlandson offers other forms of quackery and charlatans, with almost everyone either deceiving or being deceived.

Grego then speculates that Dr. Botherum is a caricature of Dr. Bossy (or Boosy or Bosey), a celebrated German mountebank, who practiced theatrical acts of healing in London. Bossy was said to have been the last of the respectable charlatans. He set up his small stage alternately in Covent Garden market and at Tower Hill, arriving to both in a chariot wearing colorful clothes. Bosey attracted large crowds for awhile but as he grew older, his audiences grew smaller and he ended his days selling potions and pills in the open-air markets of Yorkshire.

See also Leslie G. Mathews, “Licensed Mountebanks in Britain,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 19, no. 1 (1964): 30-45.

Thackeray in the margins

Henry Mackenzie and others, The Mirror: A Periodical Paper (London: printed for A. Strahan and T. Cadell in the Strand…, 1787). Three volumes from the library of William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) with twenty-four pencil drawings by Thackeray in the margins. Graphic Arts GAX 2009- in process

William Thackeray was not only a nineteenth-century writer but also a graphic artist with a talent for caricature. He owned these three volumes of The Mirror and was inspired to make twenty-four small drawings at the ends of chapters and in the margins of stories.

Thanks to the research of Christopher Edwards, we know that the volumes were mentioned in the short catalogue issued by Henry Sotheran in February 1879, as “Relics from the library of the late W.M. Thackeray, comprising books of no great value in themselves, but enriched by numerous characteristic drawings, executed with remarkable skill and taste.” These three small volumes and their marginalia were priced at two pounds, five shillings, one of the higher prices in the catalogue.

Thackeray’s volumes were eventually donated to University of Aberdeen by A.A. Jack (1869-1946), professor of English at the University, but have since been deaccessioned. Happily, they now reside in graphic arts and can be viewed Monday to Friday in our reading room.

See also: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), Album of sketches and drawings, [183-?], in the Robert H. Taylor collection of English and American literature, Rare Books Manuscripts Collection (MSS) RTC01 (no. 145)

Bernard Picart


Engraved by Bernard Baron (1696-ca. 1766), after a design by Bernard Picart (1673-1733), Monument consacré à la postérité en mémoir de la folie incroyable de la XX année du XVIII. siècle [Monument consecrated to posterity in memory of the unbelievable folly of the 20th year of the 18th century], 1720. Etching and engraving with hand coloring. Graphic Arts (GA) French prints

The French/Dutch publisher and printmaker Bernard Picart specialized in book illustration, either for his own publications or for others. While Picart trained initially in Paris, establishing a studio on Rue St Jacques, au Buste de Monseigneur, in the late 1690s he found more work in the Netherlands. Picart turned Huguenot and settled in Amsterdam around 1711.

This print is one of several Picart published anonymously in the folio volume Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid or The Great Mirror of Folly, released in Amsterdam within months of the 1720 economic crashes of the stock markets of England, France, and the Dutch Provinces. The book was published without an author or a publisher listed, although many now connect the volume largely to Picart.

The British Museum describes this print as

“satire on the financial crisis in Paris in 1720; shows a street scene in the Rue Quinquempoix, a large crowd of people are pushing a cart with Fortuna, the cart is pulled by six allegorical figures representing various investment schemes, in the sky a figure of Fame is disappearing, and a devil is blowing soap bubbles; in the right background there is an office for selling shares in the left background there are three buildings with inscriptions ‘T’Ziekenhuis’ (Hospital), ‘T’Gekkenhuis’ (Asylum) and ‘Arm-Huis’ (Poor House),with engraved French and Dutch titles, inscriptions, and French and Dutch verses two columns”.

Frans De Bruyn (Reading “Het Groote Tafereel Der Dwaasheid”, Eighteenth-Century Life, XXIV (Spring 2000), pp.1-42, nn.30, 31) points out that the scene is in Amsterdam, not Paris, where the “English” or “French” coffee-house frequented by speculators was known as the “Quinquempoix.”

While this poorly colored print was found loose in our French prints drawer, the complete volume can also be seen at Graphic Arts GAX Oversize 2006-0014F

Whistler's Venice

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), The Doorway, 1879-1880. Etching and drypoint. First Venice Set. Graphic Arts GA 2005.02127

In 1879, the American expatriate James Abbott McNeill Whistler received a commission from the Fine Art Society of London to complete a set of twelve etchings in Venice. Whistler left for Italy in September but rather than a three month sketching trip, the visit lasted fourteen months. During this time Whistler etched, primarily in drypoint, around fifty copper plates.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Nocturne: Palaces, 1879-1886. Etching and drypoint. Second Venice Set. Gift of David McAlpin III, Class of 1920. Graphic Arts GA 2005.02168

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Garden, 1879-1886. Etching and drypoint. Second Venice Set. Gift of David McAlpin III, Class of 1920. Graphic Arts GA 2005.02162

Back in London, Whistler began to print from these plates, inking and wiping each impression personally. The “First Venice Set” (exhibited in December 1880 and published 1881) consists of twelve prints chosen from the fifty designs, each trimmed by Whistler to include his butterfly signature tab at the bottom. A “Second Venice Set,” consisting of twenty-six views, was released five years later. Whistler continued to print these plates until his death in 1903.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), San Biagio, 1879-1886. Etching and drypoint. Second Venice Set. Gift of David McAlpin III, Class of 1920. Graphic Arts GA 2005.02174

In 1975, a complete set of the Second Venice was generously donated to graphic arts by David Hunter McAlpin III (1897-1989), Class of 1920. McAlpin worked as a lawyer and investment banker but his true passion was for collecting. He amassed one of the earliest collections of photography in the United States (now the core of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and Princeton University collections). In addition, McAlpin gathered an impressive set of old master prints, now divided between the library and art museum collections.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate

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George Cruikshank (1792-1878), Triumph of Dr. Jenner …, ca. 1807. Pencil drawing. Inscribed in ink: “Triumph of Dr. Jenner - the inventor of vaccination - & his friends. The [illegible] is on the top of the old College of Physicians on Warwick Lane - [illegible] suggested by old John Birch, surgeon of ‘St. Thomas’s’ and who was a strong anti-vaccinist.”

Early in the nineteenth century, the British public was divided as to the benefits of a small pox vaccine. This sketch by George Cruikshank refers to Edward Jenner (1749-1823) who was a strong advocate for vaccination and John Birch (1745?-1815) who was anti-vaccination. A group of figures with joined hands dance in a circle as a skeleton plays a stringed instrument. One of the figures on the left carries a coffin. On the back of the sheet, Cruikshank wrote some notes around a self-portrait. This drawing has not been matched to any published print.

The vaccination debate led to a number of satirical drawings. James Gillray (1757-1815) published an anti-vaccine print in 1802, depicting cows sprouting and leaping from vaccinated patients. In 1808, the year the government finally established a National Vaccine Institute, Isaac Cruikshank (1756-1811) published an engraving supporting Jenner entitled “Vaccination against Small Pox, or Mercenary & Merciless spreaders of Death and Devastation driven out of Society.”

George Cruikshank illustrated several articles on vaccine quackery in the humorous periodical The Scourge including “The Cow Pox Tragedy” and “The Examination of a Young Surgeon.” See, The Scourge, or, Monthly Expositor of Imposture and Folly (London: W. Jones, 1811-1814). Graphic Arts Collection (GA), Cruik 1811.2

Why is Maximilian looking the wrong way?

Attributed to Jan Harmensz. Muller (1571-1628) after Lucas Van Leyden (ca. 1494-1533), Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I, no date (original 1520). Engraving and etching. Gift of J. Monroe Thorington, Class of 1915. Graphic Arts GAX 2009-00445

In most impressions of this engaging portrait of Maximilian I (1459-1519), the Holy Roman Emperor is looking to the left. Here at Princeton, he looks to the right. All the details in the scene are exactly the same except laterally reversed. That is, until you look at the top right, where a decorative figure with a horned headdress is holding a tablet with the artist’s signature and printing date: L 1520. While the scene is laterally reversed, the signature and date are correctly printed left to right. Our impression is not from the original plate.

The original portrait of Maximilian I was conceived, printed, and published by the Netherlandish artist Lucas van Leyden (ca.1494-1533) after seeing the 1518 woodcut Portrait of Maximilian I by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). In both, Maximilian wears the necklace of the Order of the Golden Fleece and a rimmed hat. However, Lucas’ print is one of the first to combine etching with engraving on a copper plate, using the quicker etched lines to lay down the preparatory drawing and the elegant engraved lines to finish the scene.

According to New Hollstein, this laterally reversed copy of Lucas’ print may have been done by the Dutch artist Jan Harmensz. Muller (1571-1628). Muller apprenticed under the master printer Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) and eventually came to equal his teacher’s virtuosity with the burin. Nowhere is the reason behind this copy explained, although it may have simply been to prove that Muller’s talent was equal to that of Lucas.

Muller’s engraving came to Princeton University with a gift of approximately ninety-five prints and drawings of Alpine views. The Portrait of Maximilian I was included with a note explaining that the emperor was the first climber to be depicted using various articles of mountaineering equipment. Maximilian had three books commissioned to document his life, although he probably wrote some of it himself. The third, Theuerdank (1517) (facsimile: Graphic Arts GA PT1567.M6 A7 1979), includes these mountain climbing images.

The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700 (Amsterdam, 1996). Vol. 14 Lucas Van Leyden, p.112. Marquand Library SA ND653.L5 F502 1996

Ellen S. Jacobowitz and Stephanie Loeb Stepanek, The Prints of Lucas Van Leyden & His Contemporaries (Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1983. Marquand Library SA ND653.L5 J32

Beware of Men Traps

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), A Nice Lady or an Incomparable!!!! Hand-colored etching. Published by S. W. Fores, London, 20 October 1818. Graphic Arts 2009 -in process

Cruikshank’s print is described by the British Museum as: A bedizened hag walks to the left with an insinuating leer, with the stoop fashionable in 1816, and with splayed-out feet. Features and dress are inscribed with the names of food in which fish predominate: her skirt is covered with a Fishing Net, which forms a transparent hem; her high bonnet is a Scallop shell; her mouth Tulips; her teeth Pearl Oyster, or Sweet Meat; her hand, in which she affectedly holds an eyeglass: Fish hooks or Crabs Claws. There are many other disparaging inscriptions. Behind is a notice-board among trees: Beware of Men Traps.

The print is a companion plate to An Exquisite Dandy - Prodigious!!! A Nice Gentleman, (12 September 1818) also designed and printed by Cruikshank, in which a man is depicted walking in profile, bending at the waist. His features and dress are also inscribed with the names of food: his red carbuncled rose is Currant Jelly, his shallow broad-brimmed hat (an eccentricity) is Calves Head Jelly and Pancake; the cravat which covers neck, cheek, and chin is Puff Paste; his loose short trousers are White Sugar Bags; his handkerchief Blow Monge; his long spurs Gilt Gingerbread. Graphic Arts 2009- in process

Portrait of Einstein by Okamoto Ippei

We recently found we have a rare copy of Ando Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations on the Tokaido (Jimbutsu (Mankind) Tokaido), Muraichi, 1852. Chuban tateye. As if that isn’t good enough, it may have been the personal copy of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), who traveled to Japan in 1922. The library has a number of ephemeral items from that trip.

At the back of this volume is a portrait of Einstein by the cartoonist Okamoto Ippei (1886-1948), done in December of 1922 in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. The artist was fluent in English, having traveled a great deal, and was actively publishing his cartoons in several magazines and newspapers at the time. We hold a number of his published books, such as Yama to umi (Mountain and ocean) ([Osaka]. Osaka Asahi Shinbunsha. 1926) Cotsen Children’s Library (CTSN) Non-Roman — Japanese 38189. He must have made Einstein’s acquaintance and agreed to do this caricature in the man’s book.

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