Christian Schussele. “Washington Irving And His Literary Friends At Sunnyside.”
New York: Irving Publishing Co. and London: Moore, McQueen & Co., 1864. 20 1/4 x 31. Mezzotint by Thomas Oldham Barlow on chine appliqué. Light spotting and soiling in margins with large water stain in image at bottom. Smaller water stain bottom right hand margin corner just touching image. Few small scratches in image. Old repaired tear left hand margin not affecting image. Otherwise, image is clean with a rich ink impression. Sold as is. A/A
An attractive group portrait of Irving with his literary contemporaries arrayed around him in his study at Sunnyside. From left to right, the figures are: Henry T. Tuckerman, William Gilmore Simms, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Fitz Greene Halleck, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Parker Willis, William H. Prescott, Irving, James K. Paulding, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Cullen Bryant, John P. Kennedy, J. Fenimore Cooper and George Bancroft. From a shelf on the wall in the upper right of the image, a bust of William Shakespeare looks down on this impressive gathering.
Interestingly, the Hudson River is visible through the window facing East; this is a convenient fabrication on Schussele’s part, because the Hudson passes by the west-facing side of the estate. The curtained alcove at the rear of the image has drapes partly drawn to reveal shelves filled with books. In this alcove was a couch accessible to a weary Irving when he tired from his work. Elsewhere in the scene, books and papers are additional reminders of the pursuits of this distinguished company.