HILL, John (1770-1850, engraver) & William Guy Wall (1792-1864)
New York, from Governor's Island [No. 20 of the Hudson River Port Folio]
New York: Henry I. Megarey, [1822-1823]. Aquatint, coloured by hand, by John Hill after W. G. Wall. Sheet size: 22 15/16 x 17 1/16 inches.
A great example of one of the earliest and finest American printed landscapes
In the summer of 1820 the Irish-born and trained landscape artist William Guy Wall (1792-after 1864) went on an extended sketching tour of the Hudson River Valley and its environs. A selection of Wall's watercolors recording sights on his tour was engraved by the master printmaker John Hill (1770-1850) in The Hudson River Portfolio, published in New York City by Henry J. Megarey between 1821 and 1825. Long considered a cornerstone in the development of American printmaking and landscape painting, its twenty topographical views cover roughly 212 miles of the 315-mile course of the Hudson River. This undertaking paved the way for a wider public appreciation of landscape in the United States. The first series of prints to make Americans aware of the beauty and sublimity of their own scenery, the seminal Portfolio helped to stimulate national pride and cultural identity. One of the most celebrated views of New York, this is the final plate in the series, showing the Battery and lower New York City from Governor's Island. The fort on the island is in the right foreground, a sailboat is in the middle distance, and the skyline of New York, along with a forest of masts at the docks, stretches across the picture.
Deak, Picturing America 320.