A Decorative Panel

A Decorative Panel

A Decorative Panel was taken by Alfred Stieglitz along the Seine River in Paris in 1894. This particular hand-pulled photogravure carries the imprint of William Sartain, a  Philadelphia born artist and engraver (1843-1924) working in New York.  Interested in fine printing himself, Stieglitz may very well have been drawn to Sartain for the reproduction of his work in photogravure because of Sartain’s father’s important role in mezzotint engraving:

John Sartain (1808-1897) was “an artist who pioneered mezzotint engraving in the United States.” (1.)

William Sartain primarily painted and taught while in New York, and it is not known to what extent he was involved in engraving at this time. He did have a  relationship with the National Academy of Design, the New York City cultural institution which hosted Stieglitz’s inaugural exhibit of the American Photographic Secession in 1902. Some additional background on Sartain:

Another son, William Sartain (21 November 1843 – 1924), born in Philadelphia, engraved under his father’s supervision until he was about 24. From 1867 to 1868, he studied under Christian Schussele and at the Pennsylvania Academy. He then went to Paris, where he studied with Leon Bonnat. In 1877, he returned to the United States, settling in New York, where he was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1880. He was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists. He painted both landscape and figure subjects.[7]  (1.)

His (William Sartain’s)  father was John Sartain. He went to high school with Thomas Eakins; they traveled together in 1868. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.[1] He stayed in Paris until 1875, when he returned to Philadelphia, and moved to New York City.
His work is in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, U.S. Capitol,[2] and National Museum of American Art.  (2.)

engraved: lower left corner in margin below image: PHOTOGRAVURE by WM. SARTAIN.

in lower right portion of plate in margin below image in larger block letters:

    By Alfred Stieglitz

1. John Sartain: from: Wikipedia: accessed: May, 2012
2. Ibid
3. William Sartain: from: Wikipedia: accessed: May, 2012

A Decorative Panel

Image Dimensions12.2 x 19.8 cm January