The Lovers

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.
Colored print; full length portrait of man and woman happily walking arm in arm near a river's edge. Both appear to be in fine riding costume and carry riding crops. The man wears a fitted coat, brocade vest, ascot, plaid trousers and a high silk hat. The woman wears a long skirt with train, fitted bodice, high stiff collar with bow tie, and a high silk hat. Several small sailboats and a canoe are on the river in a bucolic background scene while a group of homes and a church or large municipal building are on a hill overlooking the river..
The print was produced by Sarony & Major. Napoleon Sarony (1821–1896) was born in Quebec and trained under several lithography firms including Currier & Ives and H.R. Robinson. Sarony was also known for his successful experiments in early photography, eventually developing a cabinet-sized camera. In 1846, Sarony partnered with another former apprentice of Nathaniel Currier, Henry B. Major and created Sarony & Major Lithography firm. Joseph F. Knapp joined the firm in 1857. Sarony, Major & Knapp earned a solid reputation for lithography and the company was especially known for its fine art chromolithography. Unfortunately, by the 1870s, the firm shifted focus to the more profitable area of advertising. It also expanded to become the conglomerate known as the American Lithographic Company, successfully producing calendars, advertising cards and posters. In 1930 they were bought out by Consolidated Graphics.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
lithograph
Object Type
Lithograph
date made
ca 1850
artist
Sarony, Napoleon
maker
Sarony & Major
Physical Description
hand-colored (image production method/technique)
ink (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
image: 11 1/2 in x 8 1/2 in; 29.21 cm x 21.59 cm
overall: 14 1/8 in x 10 1/16 in; 35.8775 cm x 25.55875 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
DL*60.2274
catalog number
60.2274
accession number
228146
subject
Courtship, love
Clothing & Accessories
Horseback Riding
Walking
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; illustrated
Garvan, Anthony N. B. and Peter C. Welsh. Victorian American
cited
Welsh, Peter C. and Caroline. The Genteel Female

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