Thomas Hicks. "Authors of the United States".
New York: Thomas Hicks, 1866. Engraving by A.H. Ritchie. 19 3/8 x 34 1/2. Good margins. Some old stains in margins. Two repaired tears in left margin, one extending ca. 4" into image. Else, very good condition.
A superior engraving of the most famous American authors of the middle of the nineteenth century. The image was drawn and published by Thomas Hicks, a native of Bucks County who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy and National Academy of Design. Around mid-century Hicks set up a studio as a portrait painter in New York City and many prominent persons of the age sat for him. This print is really a set piece showing off Hicks' portraits. It shows authors of the United States sitting and standing in a classical setting complete with statues of famous English writers including Shakespeare and Chaucer. Statues on the upper balcony are of the founders of modern vernacular literate: Goethe, Shakespeare, and Dante. Each is clearly and accurately rendered and the whole makes a most impressive image. This engraving was by A.H. Ritchie, one of the best historic print engravers of the mid-nineteenth century. Ritchie is well known for the clarity and richness of his engravings, and this is a fine example of his work.