Grandpapa's Pet

Description (Brief)
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 is a lithotint; interior scene of a seated older man with his cane and a dog sleeping near his feet. A standing child, presumably the man's granddaughter, is facing him. Simple furnishings include a bench, chest or bureau, and a chair. A plant, shovel and saw are also depicted.
The inscription indicates that the print was drawn specifically for Miss Leslie's Magazine and published in April 1843, in the year the periodical debuted. This print was considered the first true lithotint produced in the US, the result of a partnership and experiments between artist/ draftsman/engraver John H. Richard (b. 1807) and printer/lithographer Peter S. Duval in 1841/1842. The print was described in Miss Leslie's as a product of both art and technology and considered a great breakthrough in publishing. It was printed in color from one stone. Peters S. Duval was a French immigrant, who worked in Philadelphia, originally for Cephas G. Childs. He founded his own firm eventually and a family of lithographers.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
Richard, John H.
Duval, Peter S.
Physical Description
lithotint (image production method/technique)
ink (overall material)
paper (overall material)
image: 6 in x 4 1/2 in; 15.24 cm x 11.43 cm
overall: 9 1/2 in x 6 in; 24.13 cm x 15.24 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Peters, Harry T.. America on Stone
Marzio, Peter. Democratic Art: An Exhibition on the History of Chromolithography in America 1840-1900

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