Frederick S. Church Original Plate Signed Etching Wanderer's Return 1887 Edition


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The Wanderer's Return is an original Limited Edition etching by American printmaker and painter Frederick Stuart Church - (1842-1924). This original work was published in 1887.

Title: The Wanderer's Return
Artist: Frederick Stuart Church - (1842-1924) - American artist
Technique: Original Etching
Signature: Signed and dated in the plate. Copyright and publisher information in the upper left corn just above the image.
Date Published: 1887
Edition: From an edition of 500
Dimensions: Sheet size - 11 x 15-1/2 inches, Image size - 6-7/8 x 10-3/8 inches.
Condition: The etching is in Excellent Condition.
References: Examples of this etching are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco which shows it on their website.
Representative Etchings by Artists of To-day in America (1887) by Ripley Hitchcock
Printing: A strong impression printed in reddish brown ink on cream wove paper.
Presentation: In an ivory collector's mat/folder. Blank on the back, not laid down.
Description: Frederick Church was a painter, illustrator and printmaker who produced many dreamy, idyllic works with an element of fantasy. "The Wanderer's Return" is considered one of his best works. The following comments are from The Critic, a New York weekly literature and art review which praised the etching in its Nov. 26, 1887 issue:

"Mr. Church’s "The Wanderer’s Return," printed in red, is one of this etcher’s best plates, not only in the technical execution of the lines, but as regards their symmetry and harmony. The subject is a young girl welcoming a returning dove. The river and all the sedges on the bank are treated in the simplest but most suggestive manner."

Frederick Stuart Church was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father was an important figure in politics as well as a well-known lawyer. At the age of 13 Church left school and took a job at the then newly-established American Express Company in Chicago, with his parents intending him to have a business career. Being nineteen at the outbreak of the Civil War he served in the Union Army. After his discharge he returned to Chicago, having decided to devote his life to art, and started studying drawing under Walter Shirlaw at the city's Academy of Design. In 1870 he took the decision to continue his studies in New York City, which became his home for the rest of his life.

He enrolled at the National Academy of Design, and joined the Art Students League, headed by his old teacher Walter Shirlaw, in which he remained involved for the rest of his life. By the middle of the 1870s he was already gaining a name as a gifted illustrator. Among the many magazines and periodicals which eventually took up his works were the various Harper's publications as well as Frank Leslie's Weekly, Century Magazine and the Ladies' Home Journal. He also did illustrations for various commercial companies. Church became especially known for his fondness of depicting animals, both in their natural state and in anthropomorphic "allegorical compositions" - having both the patience and empathy needed to gain the confidence of his animal "models" and a thorough understanding of animal anatomy, as well as of animal facial expressions and the moods and feelings they conveyed.

Church was a member of the New York Etching Club. His paintings and etchings are in many public and private collections.

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