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Portrait, Alexander Hamilton, Vintage Print after John Trumbull, Frost and Reed, 1932

$1,400

John Trumbull (American, 1756-1843) (after)
Thomas Hamilton Crawford (c. 1859-1948) (engraver)
Alexander Hamilton
Frost and Reed Ltd., Bristol, England: 1932
Mezzotint engraving with chine collé
Signed in pencil lower right margin: T. Hamilton Crawford
24.75 x 16.75 inches, ruled border
26.5 x 17.75 inches, plate mark
29.5 x 21 inches, overall
$1,400

A color printed mezzotint full-length portrait of Alexander Hamilton (1755/57–1804), published in 1932 after an 18th-century painting by John Trumbull and signed by the engraver. Hamilton was among the most influential founders of the American Republic. After fighting alongside George Washington in the American Revolution and serving as his legal and financial advisor, he was appointed the first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789. Trumbull’s original painting was commissioned while Hamilton was serving in that capacity by a group of New York merchants representing the Chamber of Commerce. At Hamilton’s request, the portrait avoided political symbols and portrayed him in an unofficial setting. Completed in 1792, today it is jointly owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It is pictured on the Met’s website (see References below) and is on view in the museum. Another example of this print is in the collection of the Library of Congress, where it was included in the exhibition Creating the United States in 2010-11.

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Description

John Trumbull was a celebrated American painter who sought to record and immortalize important events and leaders involved in the American Revolution and the founding of the United States. His historical pictures are among the best-known depictions of that era, including Declaration of Independence (1799), which depicts 48 of the signers. Trumbull was born in Connecticut, son of the governor, and graduated from Harvard University in 1773 at age 17. He served in the Continental Army four years later. Between 1780 and 1785 he studied with Benjamin West in London and developed his mature artistic style. After that he alternated between living in New York City and England. In 1817, he received a commission to paint murals in the U.S. Capitol rotunda and he was elected president of the American Academy of Fine Arts. He also has works in the collections of Harvard University, Yale University, the National Gallery of Art, the New-York Historical Society, and other leading museums.

Thomas Hamilton Crawford was a Scottish artist specializing in architectural and portrait subjects and mezzotints after works by English School artists from the 18th to 20th centuries. He initially trained as an architect, but switched to art, studying at the Glasgow School of Art. From 1879 to 1889 he exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy. By 1893 he had moved to London and in 1911 moved to Hertfordshire, where he spent the rest of his life. In the 1920s he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Francaises. He was also a member of the Royal Scottish Soceity of Water-Colour Painters.

Frost & Reed is a British firm dealing in fine art, established in 1808 in Bristol, England. John Frost purchased it in 1858, and was succeeded by his nephew Walter. William Reed joined as a partner in 1875 and the firm expanded into fine art publishing, making prints after paintings by contemporary artists and those from earlier eras, which they continued to do through at least the first half of the 20th century. The company currently has galleries in both London and New York.

Full publication information: Copyright 1932 by Frost & Reed Ltd. (of Bristol, England) in the United States of America.

Condition: Generally very good, the paper uniformly toned overall, with the usual overall light wear and handling. A bit of toning line in the blank margins where formerly matted, can be rematted out.

References:

“Alexander Hamilton, 1792.” Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/20893 (4 April 2019).

“Frost & Reed.” BADA. 2019. https://www.bada.org/dealer/frost-reed (4 April 2019).

“Thomas Hamilton Crawford.” Dictionary of Scottish Architects. 2016. http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=201666 (4 April 2019).

Zellman, Michael David, dir. American Art Analog. Vol 1. Chelsea House: New York, 1986. p. 66.

Additional information

Century

20th Century