J.C. Wild. “South” and “West.” Two prints from a set of four titled Panorama of Philadelphia from the State House Steeple.
Philadelphia: Wild & Chevalier, 1838. Each 8 3/4 x 12 3/8. Hand color. Lithographs on chine-collé by Wild & Chevalier. Several skillfully repaired tears into image. Else, very good condition. A/A
Two prints from an excellent and scarce set of four views of Philadelphia taken from the State House steeple. J. Caspar Wild, a Swiss artist who studied in Paris, came to Philadelphia around 1832. Soon after he moved to Cincinnati and then back to Philadelphia in 1837. At that time he formed a partnership with J.B. Chevalier to publish a series of small lithographs illustrating the city of Philadelphia. Once Wild had finished his twenty scenes about the city, he added four unusual, larger prints as a supplement to the series, showing the city from the high vantage point of the State House steeple.
The original steeple of the State House had been removed in 1781, and was reinstalled in 1828 under the direction of William Strickland. These two prints show the views looking south and west. Before he emigrated to America, Wild had produced a similar set depicting Venice, and his was the first such ‘panoramic’ set of any American city.