The Soldier's Return

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 a full length portrait of a man and woman standing, outdoors, with arms about each other. A riderless horse is tied to the wrought iron fence in background. The man is dressed in a blue military uniform with gold trim and epaulets and a belt buckle marked "US." The woman is in a simple dress, wearing a portrait miniature that hangs from a chain around her neck. A portion of the house is in the background. This is a companion print to "Soldier's Adieu."
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.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
lithograph
Object Type
Lithograph
date made
1847
maker
Baillie, James S.
Physical Description
hand-colored (image production method/technique)
ink (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
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
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
DL*60.2254
catalog number
60.2254
accession number
228146
subject
Chronology: 1840-1849
Adornment
Clothing & Accessories
Uniforms, Military
Marriage
Mexican War
Architecture, Domestic Buildings
Domestic Furnishings
Art
Peters Prints
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
maker referenced
Peters, Harry T.. America on Stone
cited
Garvan, Anthony N. B. and Peter C. Welsh. Victorian American

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