12 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches, Color-printed etching with aquatint, finished by hand; two small abraded areas, in sky and water, expertly conserved, else excellent condition with warm patina to original coloring.
Delicately rendered, sunlit maritime scene of a vibrant Boston harbor with landmark buildings of the city seen along the shoreline in the distance. Visible are the dome of the Massachusetts State House, the tall steeple is the Park Street Church, and Faneuil Hall, the brick structure with a cupola. The print was among a series of views of major Western Hemisphere ports painted by Louis Garneray, engraved by Sigismond Himely, and issued both in Paris and in New York, by Bailly and Ward. Other views in the series are of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Louis Garneray (also known as Ambroise-Louis Garneray) led an exciting life. After being trained by his artist-father, he joined various French-led sea expeditions, including one to chart the coast of Madagascar. Taken prisoner by the English in 1806, he spent the next eight years on prison ships in Portsmouth, but was able to learn English and earn a little money selling watercolors. Returning to France, he found aristocratic patrons for his marine, shipping, and port scenes, including a series of views of the coast of France. Associating with a group of artists including Vernet and Gericault, Garneray also met the future King Louis Philippe, who helped him obtain commissions after 1830. Garneray published three popular autobiographies about his adventures.
Sigismond Himely was a French landscape painter, watercolorist and engraver. He studied in the studio of Bertin in Paris and later in the studio of Français. Over the course of a long career, he exhibited watercolor landscapes at the Salon from 1824 to 1869. Among his works are two history paintings at the Museum of Versailles showing the Siege of Toulon. He produced numerous aquatint engravings after a variety of artists, including Fielding, Callow, Perot, Garneray, Turner, Charlet, Decamps, Roqueplan and Bellangé.
* (Ambroise-) Louis Garneray in The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000; Online at Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/03/0308/T030880.asp (1 Mar. 2002); Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs; France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 4, p. 706.cf. Deák, Gloria Gilda. Picturing America. Princeton University Press: 1989. 432 and 433.