Superb George Washington Portrait Art, John Donlevy Engraving, Antique Print, 19th Century
General George Washington, Electrographic Engraving by John I. Donlevy, Circa 1832. 15.5" x 18" inches. Tacked along top edge to a larger display sheet, 20" x 23". Light even toning with a repair to an intact tear along top right corner.
Commemorative engraved portrait of George Washington within an oval and surrounded by elaborate linear calligraphic decoration and text dedicating it as Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious Champion of Liberty, General George Washington, First President of the United States of America." Washingtonâ€™s portrait is based on Gilbert Stuartâ€™s painting commonly referred to as "the Athenaeum Portrait," now jointly owned by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Washingtonâ€™s head, a faint image of rays of sunlight and clouds behind it and his white ruffled shirt are rendered as shaded, naturalistic forms. However, his coat and pigtail are drawn as decorative arrangements of curling calligraphic lines. Some smaller shaded illustrations are also incorporated into the design: an eagle holding an olive branch and an American flag below the word "Sacred,". The word "America" at the bottom, rendered as an intricate Baroque foliate design. On either side of the portrait, within the oval, text gives Washingtonâ€™s life span: "Born February 22nd, 1732" and "Died December 14th, 1799." This piece is an example of a 19th century genre of complex calligraphic designs that showcased the skills of the engraver.
A fantastic large display piece!
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