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 hand colored print is an outdoor scene of a plump young girl, seated in front of a tree with a cat in her lap. A bonnet and flower are on the ground to her right. She is wearing simple clothing.
This print was produced by the lithographic firm of D.W. Kellogg & Co. Daniel Wright Kellogg (1807-1874) founded the company in Hartford, Connecticut in 1830. Before the opening of its first retail store in 1834, the D.W. Kellogg & Co. lithography firm was well established and popular in United States, particularly in the South and the Southwest. As the founding member of the family company, Daniel Wright Kellogg established the initial growth and popularity of the firm. After he left the company, it continued to flourish for decades under his younger brothers and other family members.
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