The Inauguration Steps, 1912
Lithograph on ivory laid paper
17 x 22 (image); 19 x 24.5 (sheet); 17.75" x 22.25" (sight);
24" x 30" (frame)
Washington D.C. series. Edition of 25. Signed on stone and in pencil and inscribed: " #2 The Inauguration Portico"
This is from a series of six lithographs made for the Century Magazine entitled "The Capitol at Washington” and described as the "East Front of the Capitol" Another example is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Joseph Pennell was widely recognized for his illustrations and etchings, a process he began in the late 1870s. The son of Philadelphia Quaker parents, he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia where his instructor, James Claghorn recognized and encouraged Pennell's etching talent.
From 1884 to 1917, Pennell lived primarily in Europe. There he made scenery prints in many parts of the Continent, working in a variety of graphic media. He also returned to America long enough to travel in the American West, and in 1912 and 1915, did scenes of San Francisco, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, which along with twenty-three lithographs he did of the Panama Canal were purchased by the Italian government and are in the Uffizi Gallery.
Pennell completed over 1800 etchings and lithographs. His style was strongly influenced by James Whistler, and his technique was influenced by drawings of Charles Reinhardt. He also wrote and illustrated nearly a hundred books including a biography of Whistler.
Falk, Peter, ed. Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975
Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California 1786-1940