John G. Exilious. “South East View of Pennsylvania Hospital.”
Philadelphia, 1814. Restrike ca. 1920s? 11 5/8 x 18 1/4. Engraving by Exilious. Printer C.P. Harrison. Large margins. Very small hole in image bottom right hand side filled. Few short tears in margins repaired with acid free archival tape. Rich ink impression. Else, very good condition. Ref: Phillips, Maps and Views of Philadelphia: 274; Drepperd, Early American Prints, p.94; Thomas G. Morton, The History of the Pennsylvania Hospital (1895), pp. 328-30.
A rare, and finely executed engraving of Pennsylvania Hospital by local landscape painter John G. Exilious, who worked in Philadelphia from 1810 to 1814. In 1810, he was one of the founders of the Society of Artists. This view of Pennsylvania Hospital is his largest and finest engraving. It shows the hospital from the south east, with the entire building nicely illustrated behind its brick wall. In the foreground Exilious has included an interesting street scene, with a sick man being carried into the hospital by three men. Below the image is a remarque vignette of the Good Samaritan, under which is the caption, “Take care of him and I will repay thee.” Exilious had previously been a patient at the hospital, and he seems to have produced this print as a financial venture. The cost of the project was $250, and 80 impressions were originally made.
The plate exists today at the Pennsylvania Hospital, and restrikes have been struck from it over the decades. Judging from the paper used, the strength of the impression, and the age of this one, it was struck in the early twentieth century. The 1920s is the most appropriate time for this kind of activity to have taken place since prints and reproductions were very popular in the decade between World War I and the Great Depression.