This print was among a series of views of major Western Hemisphere ports painted by Louis Garneray, engraved by Sigismond Himely, and issued in Paris, and in New York by Bailly and Ward. Other views in the series show New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Commenting on the Garneray Philadelphia view, scholar Gloria Gilda Deák notes, “It is not known what original sources were available to Garneray for those views, as there is no documentation to suggest that he traveled to either North America or South America.” According to Deák, the Philadelphia view published by Bailly and Ward “was probably issued in New York sometime before 1843-1844,” since this “publishing partnership… appears to have been dissolved by the following year.”
Louis Garneray (also known as Ambroise-Louis Garneray) led an unusual life — after being trained by his artist-father, he joined various French-lead sea expeditions, including one to chart the coast of Madagascar. Taken prisoner by the English in 1806, he spent the next eight years in 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. He is most renowned for his views of port cities of North and South America, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. 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.
Bailly Ward & Co. was an American print publishing partnership, active in New York City in the early Federal period; it dissolved around 1843-44.
Full publication information: A Paris chez Hocquart ainé Succ’r de Basset, Rue St. Jacques No. 64. New-York. Published by Bailly.
Condition: Generally very good, the original color fresh and bright, the paper with the usual overall toning and wear. No visible plate mark, as typical for this series of prints. Recently professionally restored: cleaned and deacidified, irregular printers crease (possibly incorporating a crack or tear) in sky backed with Japanese tissue, small abrasion (possibly a crack or tear) in water similarly backed with Japanese tissue, two small chips to edges filled in. Vintage (possibly original) frame with the usual overall wear, abrasions, minor chips, and shrinkage.
“(Ambroise-) Louis Garneray.” 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.
Deák, Gloria Gilda. Picturing America. Princeton University Press: 1989. 432 and 433.