John Caspar Wild, expert painter and lithographer, produced some of the earliest known depictions of urban America in the nineteenth century. His paintings and prints of Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Davenport, Iowa, among others, stand as valuable historical records of these cities in an era before large-scale industrialization changed their character. His art also served to advertise the cities of the rapidly expanding West.
The American career of John Caspar Wild began in 1832, when he arrived in Philadelphia from Paris to work as a painter, lithographer, and print colorist. In all the cities he called home, he recorded their appearance during a period of rapid growth. These images, like all of his separately issued lithographs, are extremely rare and can be found in only a few institutions.
This beautifully illustrated book presents Wild's paintings and prints for all to appreciate, and a catalogue raisonné identifies all of his known works. The author draws on his previous writings about Wild-themselves based on specialized studies by earlier scholars-and adds much new information about the artist's early years in Philadelphia and his accomplishments elsewhere. This talented but largely ignored artist who died well over a century and a half ago is thus at last provided the recognition he deserves.
"Meticulously researched documentation and flawless color and monochromatic reproductions...an appealing read...visually scrumptious. Reps has left no stone unturned in his research."
-Rachel Berenson Perry, Indiana Magazine of History
appendices, index, catalogue raisonnÃ© ISBN: 1-883982-55-3, $59.95, hardcover