Item No: pdcp00799
Title: Philadelphia, from the Navy Yard
Print and Picture Collection
Gift of Evan Randolph, 1960. Transferred from the Rare Book Department, 12/96.
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 Philadelphiawere 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.C. Wild and J.B. Chevalier, 1838.
The view depicts the Delaware, covered with the shipping, from a point below the Navy Yard, extending up as far as Kensington, which is dimly traced in the distance. Wind-Mill Island, where the pirates were hung many years since, is also seen opposite the heart of the city, while the shore of Camden beyond is partially seen at distant points.
-Ezra Holden, Views of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity, 1838.
Wild, J. C. (John Caspar), approximately 1804-1846 - Lithographer
Collins, John, 1814-1902 - Lithographer