John Lewis Krimmel (1786-1821) was America's first genre painter. A German immigrant who worked in Philadelphia between 1809 and 1821, Krimmel was initially influenced by David Wilkie, William Hogarth, and Benjamin West. In this authoritative examination, Harding traces the development of the artist through his sketchbook images and oil paintings. Seven sketchbooks now in the Winterthur Library contain approximately 700 separate drawings, ranging from quick pencil sketches to finished watercolor pictures, and are the key to reconstructing Krimmel's conceptual processes. When examined, they show clear distinctions in subject matter and drawing style commensurate with the stylistic development evident in his paintings. Harding places Krimmel's specialty, genre art, in an international context by discussing his work in terms of larger stylistic trends and defines his use of democratic and moralizing themes within the political and social changes affecting Philadelphia and the Continent.
• Philadelphia artist from the 1800's
• Hardcover, 268 pages; 113 color plates, 246 black and white illustrations, select bibliography, index