Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Junction of the Sacandaga and Hudson Rivers (No. 2 of The Hudson River Portfolio)

Series/Portfolio:
The Hudson River Portfolio
Etcher:
John Hill (American (born England), London 1770–1850 Clarksville, New York)
Artist:
after William Guy Wall (Irish, Dublin 1792–after 1864 Ireland (active America))
Publisher:
Henry J. Megarey (American, 1818–1845 New York)
Publisher:
W. B. Gilley (New York, NY)
Publisher:
John Mill (Charleston, South Carolina)
Printer:
William and Charles Rollinson (American, active ca. 1808–33)
Date:
1821–22
Medium:
Aquatint printed in color with hand-coloring; first state of two
Dimensions:
Image: 14 1/16 x 20 3/16 in. (35.7 x 51.3 cm) Sheet: 19 x 24 1/2 in. (48.3 x 62.2 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
The Edward W. C. Arnold Collection of New York Prints, Maps and Pictures, Bequest of Edward W. C. Arnold, 1954
Accession Number:
54.90.1274(2)
Not on view
The confluence of the Sacandaga and Hudson occurs just below the rapids represented in plate 1 of the Hudson River Portfolio (54.90.1274(1)). John Agg's related text tells us, "the shores in this place, are broken and precipitous; and the natural course of the current is impeded and distracted by the large fragments of stone...the character of the scenery is a wild, ferocious, and solitary sublimity. " Both image and description come from a monument of American printmaking produced through the collaboration of artists, a writer, and publishers. In the summer of 1820, the Irish-born William Guy Wall toured and sketched along the Hudson, then painted a series of large watercolors. Prints of equal scale were proposed–to be issued to subscribers in sets of four–and John Rubens Smith was hired to work the plates. Almost immediately, Smith was replaced by the skilled London-trained aquatint engraver John Hill, who finished the first four plates, and produced sixteen more by 1825. Over the next decade, the Portfolio sold thousands of copies, stimulated new appreciation for American landscape, and prepared the way for the Hudson River School.
Inscription: Inscribed in plate lower center: "The Junction of the Scandaga and Hudson Rivers / No. 2 of the Hudson River Port Folio / Published by H. I. Megarey & W. B. Gilley, New York & John Mill Charleston S.C. / Printed by Rollinson"; lower left: "Painted by W. G. Wall"; lower right: "Finished by I. Hill"
Letterpress description on opposite page
Edward W. C. Arnold; Donor: Bequest of Edward W. C. Arnold
Stokes III.572.2; Fielding III.641; Koke 1961, 76
Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909, compiled from original sources. 5 vols., 1915–1928, vol. III, p. 572, no. 2.

Mantle Fielding American Engravers upon Copper and Steel: Biographical Sketches and Check Lists of Engravings: A Supplement of David McNeely Stauffer's American Engravers. 1917, vol. III, no. 641, p. 136.

Richard J. Koke "John Hill, Master of Aquatint, 1770–1850." New-York Historical Society Quarterly. vol. 43, no. 1, January 1959, Note 48, p. 88, pp. 86-92, 101.

Richard J. Koke A Checklist of the American Engravings of John Hill (1770-1850): Master of Aquatint, Together with a List of Prints Colored by Him and a List of His Extant Original Drawings. New-York Historical Society, 1961, cat. no. 76, p. 32.

Kevin J. Avery American Watercolors and Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Voume I, A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born before 1835. New York, 2002, Hill's various roles in "The Hudson River Portfolio" summarized, cat. no. 14, p. 104.

Roberta J. M. Olson, Alexandra Mazzitelli Drawn by New York: six centuries of watercolors and drawings at the New-York Historical Society. 2008, Discusses the American careers of Hill and Wall, and the latter's watercolors for the Hudson River Portfolio, the eight known survivals of which are at the New York Historical Society, pp. 98-99, 166-68.



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