Item No: pdcp00798
Title: Market Street, from Front Street
Historic Street Address:
Market & Front Streets
Print and Picture Collection
John Caspar Wild (1804-1846)
Swiss-born and Paris-trained artist, John Caspar Wild moved to Philadelphia in 1832. He travelled around the city, creating watercolors of newly built and impressive buildings, using them as the basis for lithographic prints, which could be reproduced in great numbers. With his partner J. B. Chevalier he issued a series of 20 prints, released in monthly parts in 1938 as Views of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity.
Wild's prints were originally issued in parts - four prints each month for the first five months of 1838. The 20 plates were followed by the four panoramas from the State House steeple. This was followed by the second edition (still in 1838), which consisted of all 20 plates in one bound volume. "Poetical illustrations" of each image were written by Ezra Holden and Andrew McMakin, the proprietors of the Saturday Courier. Holden wrote the prose and McMakin wrote the poetry.
Not long after the Views of Philadelphia was published, Wild moved west to St. Louis and turned his focus to that city and the Mississippi Valley. The copyright and lithographic stones to view his Views of Philadelphia were bought by J. T. Bowen, who published another edition in 1838 and a new edition of the work with hand-colored plates in 1848. Wild died in Davenport, Iowa at the young age of 42.
Hand-colored lithograph, published in Philadelphia by J.T. Bowen, 1840.
This view represents one of the finest streets of the city, from Front Street. Market Street is exactly in the centre of the City. The immortal Quaker [William Penn], in laying out the City on his original plan of all the streets running at right angles, intended Market Street doubtless to form the greatest centre of business.
The principal City Markets are in the middle of the Street, which the eye will see in the representation, starting from what is termed "Jersey Market," the portion commencing nearest the river Delaware, where the Camden boats land from New Jersey shore; which accounts for the name given to the lower portion of the Market, as it is here that the good people of Jersey, bring their fine peaches and other products to Market.
-Ezra Holden, Views of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity, 1838
Wild, J. C. (John Caspar), approximately 1804-1846 - Lithographer
Bowen, John T., approximately 1801-1856? - Lithographer