Artist: W. Hensel ____________ Engraver: H. Bourne
Note: the title in the table above is printed below the engraving
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PRINT DATE: This lithograph was printed in 1856; it is not a modern reproduction in any way.
PRINT SIZE: Overall print size is 8 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches including white borders, actual scene is 9 inches by 9 inches.
PRINT CONDITION: Condition is excellent. Bright and clean. Blank on reverse. Paper is quality woven rag stock paper. PLEASE NOTE THAT MY SCANNER COULD NOT FIT THE WHOLE IMAGE, BUT IT IS A COMPLETE CIRCLE AND NOT CROPPED LIKE THIS SCAN IS.
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FROM THE ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Hensel, one of the most distinguished living painters of the school of Berlin, is the son of a. clergyman, and was born at Trebbin, in 1794. He evinced at an early age a taste for the Fine Arts, but his parents, having another object in view, sent him, when sixteen years old, to Berlin, to qualify him for a post under the Government. The death of his father very shortly after he had gone to Berlin, removed the chief obstacle in the way of his entering upon the life of an artist; and encouraged by the director of the Academy, Frisch, Hensel commenced his studies in right earnest. In the Berlin Art-Exhibition of 1812 appeared his first oil-pictures-a portrait of himself, and "Christ on the Mount of Olives," the latter showing considerable feeling and devotional character. During the three following years the pencil was exchanged for the sword, and the time was passed amid camps and battles, in rolling back upon France the tide of war which she had thrown upon the nations of the continent. On the restoration of peace in 1815, Hensel resumed his occupation at the easel; but his success at first was not commensurate with his zeal; he therefore abandoned historical painting for a time, principally because he had a mother and a brother dependent on him for support. Money it was essential he should earn; and to accomplish this purpose, he made drawings and engraved etchings for almanacs and other similar publications, and also painted portraits. He at length received a commission to paint, in one of the saloons of the new theatre, a series of subjects taken from the most celebrated tragic authors: several of these have been engraved in outline. To this period also may be traced the most eventful epoch of his life- a journey to Italy, or which the King of Prussia furnished him with the necessary means. Prior to his starting, however, he was charged to execute the portraits of a number of distinguished persons who had taken part in a grand fete at court in a sort of tableau vivant of "Lallah Rookah: " these portraits are all in costume.
Hensel set out for Rome in 1823; he there made a copy, the size of the original, of "The Transfiguration," by Raffaelle; this copy is in the chapel of Charlottenburg. At Rome, too, he painted a large picture of "The Good Samaritan," which is in one of the country palaces of the King of Prussia, placed most disadvantageously among many other pictures of different kinds; had it formed an altar-piece in some church, it would be seen with far better effect. Returning to Berlin in 1828, Hensel became a member of the Academy, and was appointed painter to the King. He married the sister of Mendelssohn, the renowned composer.
The most important picture painted by Hensel is the property of the King of Prussia; the subject is "Christ before Pilate," a large work, with a vast number of life-size figures. It is in the church of the garrison of Berlin, and, having a good light, is seen to great advantage. Another fine work of this master is "Christ in the Desert," of colossal dimensions. His "Miriam" was painted in 1836; it represents the Israelitish maiden at the head of her countrywomen, chanting her song of gladness at the destruction of the hosts of Pharaoh: "Sing to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea; " or, as Moore has beautifully paraphrased the song,- "Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea; Jehovah has triumphed, and Israel is free." The composition is rich in poetical sentiment, and is characterized by exceeding grace in the principal figures, especially in the female with the harp; it is powerfully colored: the figures are life-sized. The picture is in the collection at Osborne.
BIOGRAPHY OF ARTIST: Wilhelm Hensel (born in Trebbin, Potsdam, 6 July 1794; died in Berlin, 26 Nov 1861) was a German painter and draughtsman. From 1811 he studied painting at the Kunstakademie, Berlin. From 1818 to 1820 he worked on the decoration of Schinkel's Schauspielhaus, Berlin, painting scenes from tragedies, and in 1821 he was commissioned to execute 12 pictures of tableaux vivants from Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh (1817), a poem with an Indo-Persian setting. These were to be presented to guests attending a festival in honour of the visiting heir to the Russian throne, Crown Prince Nicholas (later Nicholas I), and his wife, Princess Charlotte of Prussia. He also produced 53 portraits (Berlin, Kupferstichkab.) of members of the nobility who were attending the festival in Oriental costume. In 1823 he was awarded a royal grant to study in Italy, where he remained until 1828. While there he painted a copy (Potsdam, Orangerie) of Raphael's Transfiguration (Rome, Pin. Vaticana) for the Prussian court and Christ and the Woman of Samaria (1828; Potsdam, Orangerie). He returned to Berlin and became a member of the Akademie der Künste and court painter in 1829, the year of his marriage to Fanny Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, sister of the composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. He became Professor of History Painting at the Akademie in 1831.
Please note: the terms used in our auctions for engraving, etching, lithograph, plate, photogravure etc. are ALL prints on paper, and NOT blocks of steel or wood or any other material. "ENGRAVINGS", the term commonly used for these paper prints, were the most common method in the 1700s and 1800s for illustrating old books, and these paper prints or "engravings" were created by the intaglio process of etching the negative of the image into a block of steel, copper, wood etc, and then when inked and pressed onto paper, a print image was created. These prints or engravings were usually inserted into books, although many were also printed and issued as loose stand alone lithographs. They often had a tissue guard or onion skin frontis to protect them from transferring their ink to the opposite page and were usually on much thicker quality woven rag stock paper than the regular prints. So this auction is for an antique paper print(s), probably from an old book, of very high quality and usually on very thick rag stock paper.
A RARE FIND! AND GREAT DECORATION FOR YOUR OFFICE OR HOME WALL.