Tompkins Harrison Matteson. “Washington Delivering His Inaugural Address April 1789, in the old City Hall, New-York.” New York: John Neale, 1849. 18 x 24 3/4. Engraving by H.S. Sadd. Very good condition.
Tompkins H. Matteson was a painter of historical and political scenes who produced some of the more interesting historical images of the mid-nineteenth century. This steel engraving after Matteson’s painting is by H.S. Sadd, who is well known for his historical engravings. The print was taken from a painting by Matteson that was specifically commissioned for the print. The scene shows Washington delivering his first inaugural address to the House and Senate in the old New York City Hall, which served as the U.S. Capitol at the time. The members of Congress are shown arrayed around Washington, who looks noble and inspiring on the dais in the middle of the picture. The mid-nineteenth century was a time when the legend of Washington was being built, and this print was very much a part of that process. An interesting and attractive American historical print.