The Primitive Forest of America
The Primitive Forest of America
The Primitive Forest of America
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The Primitive Forest of America
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The Primitive Forest of America

GEORGE HARVEY, 1841

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The Primitive Forest of America
George Harvey, 1841
HARVEY, George (1800-1878). Harvey’s Scenes of the Primitive Forest of America, at the Four Periods of the Year, Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter, Engraved From His Original Paintings, Accompanied by Descriptive Letter-Press. New York: George Harvey [but actually London: Charles Vinten], 1841.

Very rare set of George Harvey's four seasons. "Harvey, an English artist who resided in the United States for many years, was intrigued by what he felt to be the unique nature of American light. He proposed publishing a portfolio of forty lithographs depicting 'Atmospheric Landscapes.' Four of these were to show 'Epochs of the Year,' while the other thirty-six would illustrate points in the day from misty dawn to moonlit midnight ... Sadly, only the first part of this wonderful project, that showing the seasons, was published as the present work. The luminous hand-colored lithographs fulfill Harvey's vision of the distinctive slant of light in the American forests" (Pictured to the Life).

Washington Irving edited the text. Having immigrated to the United States when he was 28, Harvey would work in Ohio, Michigan, and Boston before settling down in Hastings-on-Hudson near New York City. Two of the scenes depicted here are set in Ohio, one in Upper Canada, and one in the West. According to Abbey, only the London issue of this work had the additional pictorial title-page and dedication to Queen Victoria; these were not supplied to the present, American issue. Abbey 652; America Pictured to the Life 7; Bennett, p. 52 (“exceedingly rare”); Deák 469-72; Sabin 30772.

Folio (500 x 385mm). Letterpress title and descriptions of each plate. Four hand-colored lithographed plates, printed on thick paper, by W.J. Bennett after paintings by Harvey, each with Harvey's copyright blindstamp in top margin. Modern half morocco gilt, spine gilt-lettered, contemporary embossed cloth covers preserved. Custom half morocco clamshell box.

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