S.J. Ferris after Collins. “The Sale of the Pet Lamb.”
Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., 1866. 11 ¾ 17 ¾. Etching and engraving by A.B. Walter. Framed with archival materials.
This painting marked a turning point in British artist, William Collins' (R.A., 1788-1847) career. It was received with such great acclaim that its success, as his son Wilkie Collins, wrote, "at once eclipsed the more moderate celebrity of all his former works." The work is credited as the impetus for Collins' election as an associate of the Royal Academy in November 1814, following its display there in the previous year.
Stephen James Ferris (1835-1915) studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy and in Paris, under Jean Leon Gerome. He achieved a considerable reputation for his art in both America and Europe. Stephen Ferris also served for twenty six years as the Instructor of Art at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, now the Moore College of Art.
Ferris and his brother-in-law, Thomas Moran, first studied the process of etching in 1860 from the engraver and publisher, John Sartain. Stephen Ferris's first published etching was created in 1875. During the following years he created many fine portraits and figure studies in this medium.