Soldier's Adieu

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 a full length portrait of a man and woman standing, outdoors, with their arms about each other. In the background, a soldier on horseback awaits, holding the reins of a riderless horse. The man is dressed in a blue military uniform with gold trim and epaulets, belt buckle marked "US," and holding a plumed hat. The woman is in a simple dress, holding a portrait miniature that hangs from a chain around her neck. The miniature is indistict but could be of the solier or possibly the artist. A portion of the house and wrought iron fence are in the background. This is a companion picture to "Soldier's Return."
This print was produced by James S Baillie, was active in New York from 1838 to 1855. James Baillie started as a framer in 1838, and then became an artist and lithographer in 1843 or 1844. He discovered how to color lithographs while working as an independent contractor for Currier & Ives in the mid 1840’s. A prolific lithographer and colorist for Currier & Ives; his prints were extremely popular with a wide distribution. J. Baillie spent his later years concentrating on painting instead of lithography.
Currently not on view
date made
Baillie, James S.
place made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
hand-colored (image production method/technique)
ink (overall material)
paper (overall material)
image: 11 3/4 in x 8 1/2 in; 29.845 cm x 21.59 cm
overall: 14 in x 10 in; 35.56 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Chronology: 1840-1849
Architecture, Domestic Buildings
Uniforms, Military
Mexican War
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Clothing & Accessories
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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