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 of a boy using an oaken bucket to drink from a well. He is accompanied by two dogs. His hat, jacket, and fishing pole are strewn about on the ground and he is shoeless. A house with two figures on the porch, a fence and a wooded landscape are in the background.
The lithographer Elijah Chapman Kellogg (1811–1881) was the youngest of the four Kellogg brothers, all of whom were lithographers. The brothers were born in Tolland, Connecticut, a small town located near Hartford, where the family business was established. E.C. Kellogg was the only brother among the Kelloggs to receive his professional training in Hartford, Ct. In 1840, Elijah Chapman Kellogg, along with his brother Edmund Burke Kellogg, took over the D.W. Kellogg & Co. after older brother Daniel Wright Kellogg moved west. Elijah and Edmund were responsible for most of the company’s partnerships. Elijah Chapman Kellogg retired in 1867.
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