The Sea Nymphs' Cave

Description
Sentimental genre prints documented the social image of Victorian virtue through domestic scenes of courtship, family, home life, and images of the “genteel female.” Children are depicted studying nature or caring for their obedient pets as they learn their place in the greater world. Romantic scenes picture devoted husbands with their contented, dutiful wives. In these prints, young women educated in reading, music, needlework, the arts, the language of flowers, basic math and science are subjugated to their family’s needs.
These prints became popular as lithography was introduced to 19th Century Americans. As a new art form, it was affordable for the masses and provided a means to share visual information by crossing the barriers of race, class and language. Sentimental prints encouraged the artistic endeavors of schoolgirls and promoted the ambitions of amateur artists, while serving as both moral instruction and home or business decoration. They are a pictorial record of our romanticized past.
This colored print is of a nude woman in knee deep water within a cave. The mouth of the cave and sky is visible behind her. Loose flowing fabric is attached to one arm. Fringed cloth held in both hands billows behind her shoulders. Gold bracelets are on either arm. The graphic artist and publisher are unknown.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
n.d.
maker
unknown
place made
unknown
Physical Description
hand-colored (image production method/technique)
ink (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
image: 12 1/2 in x 8 1/2 in; 31.75 cm x 21.59 cm
overall: 18 in x 13 in; 45.72 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
DL.60.2268
catalog number
60.2268
accession number
228146
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Art
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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