This picture is from the Fine Arts Project at the American Philosophical Society.
Like the pictures by William Birch you've already seen, this is an engraving. But it looks pretty different from those, doesn't it?! That's because after the print had been made by pressing paper onto the engraved metal plate, the artist colored it by hand. This picture is of Independence Hall, also known as the State House, seen from Chestnut Street. It seems like there have been a lot of pictures made of Independence Hall doesn't it? That's probably because Independence Hall holds an important place in American History. It was the site of the meeting of the Second Continental Congress and the signing of the Declaration of Independence which signaled the United States' separation from Great Britain. Not only was the Declaration of Independence signed there, but when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States, from 1790-1800, much of the new government's business took place in and around this building. This image is interesting, because it was copied, with a few changes from a painting by Charles Wilson Peale, a famous artist. This was a common activity by artists. It allowed people to own a copy of painting by a famous artist. Of course, only one person could have the actual painting!!!
This engraving can be found at the American Philosophical Society. The American Philosophical Society is located today in part of Independence Hall. Along with places like Academy of Natural Sciences (which you'll see later) and the Library Company, the American Philosophical Society was a part of the rapid growth of Philadelphia in the 1700's, to become one of the most important cities in America. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743 with the intention of furthering the study of science and technology. Among the distinguished members of the American Philosophical Society was Thomas Jefferson, the Third President of the United States. Aside from an important library, the American Philosophical Society today holds many pictures of Philadelphia. To see these images click here.
To return to your tour through Philadelphia, click here.