View of the fleet of the 1893 Great Naval Review passing by Castle William of Governor’s Island, with lower Manhattan visible to the right and the Statue of Liberty to the left, taken from Harper's Weekly magazine. Onlookers gather at Castle William to watch the passing of the fleet.
The Great Naval Review took place in conjunction with the 1893 Columbian Exposition, a U.S. World’s Fair in honor of Columbus that took place in Chicago. In 1890, Congress passed an act authorizing the president to hold a naval review in New York harbor in late April 1893 “and to extend to foreign nations an invitation to send ships of war to join the U.S. Navy in rendezvous at Hampton Roads (Virginia) and proceed thence to said review.” Britain, France, Russia, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany, Brazil and Argentina also participated, with a total of 35 vessels. Spain sent three replica caravels of Columbus’s ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. President Grover Cleveland attended the event.
Victor Semon Perard was a painter, illustrator, etcher, and author. Born in Paris, France, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts there under Gérôme. After immigrating to New York City, he studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League, and published illustrations in Harper’s and Scribner’s magazines. Later he was a member of the Society of Illustrators and an instructor at Cooper Union. He wrote and illustrated numerous instructional books on drawing, including the classic Anatomy and Drawing (1928), which has been reprinted several times, most recently in 2004 by Dover Books.
Harper's Weekly is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary and opinion magazines in the U.S. It was founded in 1850 by the Harper brothers' printing and publishing firm and by 1865 was the most successful periodical in the nation. Harper's published essays, stories and serialized novels by the leading British and American authors of the day. The magazine was also the first to be extensively illustrated with woodcuts.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning and wear. Light crease remnants from vertical folds, as issued, print later flattened and professionally backed on linen.
Fielding, Mantle. Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. Green Farms, Connecticut: Modern Books and Crafts, 1926, rev. ed. 1974. p. 279.
McGlauflin, Alice Coe, ed. Dictionary of American Artists 19th and 20th Century. Reprinted from Vol. 26 American Art Annual for the Year 1929, 1930. Poughkeepsie, New York: Glenn Opitz/Apollo Book, 1982. p. 257.
Mosier, Joseph C. “The Naval Rendezvous of 1893.” Maritime History. 1997. http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/rend.htm (23 December 2004).