John Rubens Smith. “Philadelphia.” From John H. Hinton’s The History and Topography of the United States of North America.
Boston: Hinton, 1843. Second American Edition. 5 1/8 x 8 ½. Steel engraving by J. Archer. Second state. Very good condition.
John Rubens Smith, an English immigrant, was one of the more important American artists of the early nineteenth century, known for his drawings, engravings, and teaching. Smith was from an artistic family which included his father, John Raphael Smith, artist and mezzotint engraver and publisher, who provided his earliest education. Much of John Rubens Smith’s best work is of American cities and landscape, from South Carolina to New England. This interesting view of Philadelphia, where Smith resided for a time, is one of the better views of the city waterfront, showing the skyline and shipping activity from Kensington. From its initial publication about 1834, through it various manifestations towards mid-century, this was one of the most popular views of Philadelphia. This is a fine example of the second state, engraved by J. Archer.