The Wedding Night

The Wedding Night

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 depicts an indoor scene of a man kneeling behind a woman untying the stays of her corset. He wears a high-collared shirt, lace bowtie and striped trousers. Both are wearing slippers and earrings. The man’s expression is somewhat cartoonish. The fireplace has a carved mantle upon which sits a candle holder and lit candle. There is a chair with clothing draped over it. Heavy drapery and a bed are in the background. The rug is patterned.
This lithograph was made by J Shutz, a lithographer who worked for Currier & Ives from 1849-1850. He was the firm’s primary letterer, and was responsible for lettering a large quantity of prints.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
ca 1850
Schutz, J
place made
Physical Description
hand-colored (image production method/technique)
ink (overall material)
paper (overall material)
image: 11 1/2 in x 8 1/2 in; 29.21 cm x 21.59 cm
overall: 14 in x 10 1/2 in; 35.56 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Comic prints
Chronology: 1850-1859
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Clothing & Accessories
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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