HILL, John (1770-1850, engraver) & William Guy WALL (1792-1864)
Fort Edward. No. 10 of the Hudson River Port Folio
New York: Henry J. Megarey, . Aquatint, colored by hand, by John Hill, after W.G. Wall. Sheet size: 18 x 24 1/4 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. This serene landscape portrait looking down the great Hudson River toward West Point is a fine example of the Wall/Hill collaboration in which an apparently straightforward depiction of water, trees, hills and sky creates a rich, evocative mood, a sense of vast calm. First state.
Koke, A Checklist # 86; Deak, Picturing America #320.