A.H. Ritchie. “Washington And His Generals.”
New York: Ritchie & Johnston, 1856. Engraving by A.H. Ritchie. 23 3/4 x 36 (image). Good margins. Scattered foxing, and light staining in margins. Few short tears in margins repaired with archival tape, none affecting image. Light vertical scratch in table cloth. Otherwise, image is clean with a rich ink impression. Sold as is. A/A
A wonderful, large engraving by Alexander H. Ritchie, one of the best historical print makers of the mid-nineteenth century. Ritchie is particularly known for the clarity and richness of his engravings, and this fine image is an excellent example of his work. This is especially so for this printing with its richness of impression typical of an early strike.
In the image, the “Father of His Country” is shown surrounded by his generals in Fraunces Tavern, in York City. Washington stands center stage, his noble pose highlighted with the sun streaming in from a window. The scene depicted is a historic re-creation of an event which was supposed to have occurred just prior to Washington’s official resignation as commander in chief. He takes leave of the generals, his companions of the war, departing the military in preparation for his entrance into political life. The portraits of Washington and the officers are excellent likenesses, making identification of most possible. The surrounding detail, including a bust of Benjamin Franklin, are also very finely engraved. This print was certainly part of the myth-making associated with Washington in the nineteenth century, but one where the quality and size was well above the average.