John Frederick Herring Sr. (1795-1865). “The Village Blacksmith.”
New York & Sandusky, OH: Cosmopolitan Art Association, 1858-59. 30 x 24 (image). Engraving. Light smudging in bottom margin with a light vertical slat stain in top margin. Else, very good condition.
This fine print was one of a trio of Herring prints. The two others are: “The English Homestead” and “The English Farm Yard.” John Frederick Herring (Senior) was an exacting but prolific painter of animals with special emphasis on horses. His most prestigious commissions were from Queen Victoria, the Duke of Orlean, and George IV. He is known as one of the top realistic painters of the English School and generates high praise from all who view his works. He exhibited at the Royal Academy constantly from 1818 to 1865. A copy of “The Village Black Smith” hung over the bed where Lincoln died and it appeared in the many prints showing this scene issued not long after.
The Cosmopolitan Art Association was a nationally-recognized organization founded in 1854 in Sandusky, Ohio, by C.L. Derby. It was modeled after similar Art Associations in Philadelphia and London. The purpose of the Association was “for the encouragement and general diffusion of literature and art.” Subscribers paid three dollars a year to belong to the Cosmopolitan Art Association. For this fee, they received an annual periodical subscription or an engraving, as well as a ticket for a chance to win a work of art in a lottery held each year. The association eventually moved to New York City but ceased to exist in 1861.