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American Political Portraits

The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Historical Prints

American Political Prints
--Portraits 2--

This page: [ Analectic Magazine | By Fenderich | Popular Non-Presidential | Vanity Fair | Photogravures ]
Other pages: [ Portraits page 1 | Small Presidential Portraits | Political Events | Political Cartoons ]



Political Portraits From The Analectic Magazine

From The Analectic Magazine. Engravings. Good to very good condition.

In 1812, Philadelphia bookseller and publisher Moses Thomas purchased a monthly magazine entitled Select Reviews, engaged Washington Irving as editor, and renamed the publication The Analectic Magazine. Irving, his brother-in-law J. K. Paulding, Gulian C. Verplanck and, later, Thomas Isaac Wharton wrote much of the material, which concentrated on literary reviews, articles on travel and science, biographies of naval heroes, and reprints of selections from British periodicals. Illustration "was one of the magazine’s chief distinctions. Not only were there the usual engravings on copper, but some of the earliest magazine experiments in lithography and wood engraving appeared here. The plates were chiefly portraits, though some other subjects were used." (Mott, A History of American Magazines)

Political Portraits by Charles Fenderich

Charles Fenderich, born in Switzerland in 1805, studied lithography in Europe and continued in this line when he emigrated to Philadelphia in 1831. He issued a number of lithographs jointly with fellow Swiss artist J.C. Wild and also on his own until about 1837, at which time he moved to Washington, D.C. There Fenderich, realizing the opportunities afforded in the nation's capital, began to issue a series of fine lithographic portraits of, as he states in the title of his portfolio of prints, "Living American Statesman: embracing the Executive Officers of Government, Distinguished Members of Both Houses of Congress, and others of all Parties." These fine portraits were primarily based on his own life-drawings, for as his reputation spread, most of the political figures in Washington were delighted to sit for him. Fenderich's Port Folio of Living Statesmen was issued between 1837 and 1841, but these images and others were mostly sold individually to the subjects, their families and supporters, as well as the just interested. In all Fenderich made about 84 portraits in Washington between 1837 and 1848, after which he joined the California Gold Rush, to finish his days at an artist on the west coast. Fenderich's portraits are not only beautifully made, but they provide us with excellent life-portraits of most of the important American statesmen of the third and fourth decades of the nineteenth century.

Political portraits by Charles Fenderich. From Fenderich's Port Folio of Living American Statesman. Washington: C. Fenderich, 1837-41. Lithographs printed by P.S. Duval. Portraits ca. 12 x 10. Very good condition. Most signed and dated in image.

Popular Lithographs

Prints from Vanity Fair

From 1868 until February 5, 1914, Vanity Fair, a weekly magazine of social, literary and political content, was published to the delight of Victorian and later, Edwardian England. Most popular of its features were the wonderful full page caricatures of famous men and women of the day, prints that remain Vanity Fair's great legacy.

Early on, in response to a charge by The Daily News that Vanity Fair caricatures were devoid of humor, Thomas Gibson Bowles, founder, owner and editor until 1889, described the caricatures which appeared in his magazine; "There are grim faces made more grim, grotesque figures made more grotesque, and dull people made duller by the genius of our talented collaborator 'Ape'; but there is nothing that has been treated with a set purpose to make it something that it was not already originally in a lesser degree." To publish with these visual caricatures, Bowles also wrote the accompanying biographical commentaries under the pseudonym 'Jehu Junior.' Bowles' goal in writing these epigrams was to reflect in prose that which was presented graphically.


Prints from The White House Gallery of Official Portraits of the Presidents. Folio. New York and Washington, D.C.: The Gravure Company of America, 1908. Photogravure prints after paintings. Each with a remarque.

All prints are $50 unless otherwise noted.

Prints from Presidents of the United States. Photogravure prints on sheets measuring 20 x 16 with dark oval or rectangular images with platemarks 11 1/2 x 9 1/2. New York: Close, Graham & Scully, 1920. Strong impressions.


This page: [ By Fenderich | Popular Non-Presidential | Vanity Fair | Photogravures ]
Other pages: [ Portraits page 1 | Small Presidential Portraits | Political Events | Political Cartoons ]

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