Henry Inman. "Martin Van Buren, President of the United States." Philadelphia: W.H. Morgan & Son, ca. 1839. Mezzotint by John Sartain. 20 3/8 x 14. Strong impression. Very good condition.
A handsome, full length portrait of Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), eighth president of the United States (1837-41), the first to be born in the United States. This print was produced by John Sartain (1808-1897), known as the "father of mezzotint engraving" in the U.S. popularized this elaborate printmaking process when he emigrated to this country from England in 1830. His prints always have a strong and rich texture that enhances their aesthetic qualities considerably, and the images are always historically accurate. This combination makes prints by Sartain most desirable, and this example is no exception. It is a fine example of American historical portraiture and one of Sartain's most famous engravings. It is interesting to note that the plate for this print was later used to produce a print of Abraham Lincoln, whose head replaced that of Van Buren! The print was based on an 1839 painting by noted portrait artist Henry Inman.