Emanuel Leutze. "The Angel's Whisper."
Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., Rochester: R.H. Curran, 1858. 16 x 12. Mezzotint by John Sartain. Minor tear in bottom margin expertly repaired. Otherwise, very good condition.
This print is after a painting by Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868). Born in Germany, Leutze is known mainly as an historical and portrait painter. He and his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Philadelphia, where he studied painting under John Rubens Smith. In 1840 Leutze traveled back to Germany to study under Lessing. He lived in Germany for twenty years before returning to America in 1859 to paint "Westward the Course of the Empire," an allegorical-historical mural for the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Leutze here shows a mastery of the more intimate, tender moments of human experience. In his engraved interpretation, Sartain beautifully captures the range of tone that makes the composition so successful.
Below the image, an excerpt for the Irish poet Samuel Lover's ballad, "The Angel's Whisper," lends a title to the print and enhances its tender effect. Celebrating both virtuosity of motherhood and the saintliness of children, this print is a beautiful example of Victorian sensibility and sentiment.