(after) WALL, William G. (1792-1864), Palisades, no. 19 from The Hudson River Portfolio (New York: Henry I. Megaray, 1820-1828)
BREATHTAKING EARLY VIEW OF PALISADES
Engraved by John Hill (1812-1879). 18 x 12 inches visible, 26 ½ x 33 inches framed, aquatint engraving with original hand color.
Plate legend on bottom margin bearing title, portfolio name and number, and publisher name (discoloration along the margins, toning consistent with age).
This breathtaking engraving of the Palisades comes from the popular Hudson River Portfolio, a collaboration between Irish watercolorist William Guy Wall, engraver John Hill, and publisher Henry Magary. This portfolio provided some of the earliest artistic representations of the Hudson River. This present work shows a view of the majestic Palisades rising up on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River from the vantage point of the river, with sailboats and a northbound steamship passing along a ribbon of water, in the shadow of the giant natural formation.
The Palisades are a row of steep cliffs along the West side of the lower Hudson River in Northeastern New Jersey and Southern New York, and are among the most sublime geological sights around New York City. The cliffs ascent nearly vertically from around the edge of the river, rising to about 300 feet high at Weehawken, and slowly increasing to 540 feet near their Northern end. They stretch for about 20 miles, north from Jersey City to around Nyack, New York. In the 19th century, the cliffs were often quarried for railroad material, leading to a series of long-term efforts to preserve the natural formation. In the 1910s, the Palisades were often used as a film location, most notably serving as the setting for the serial The Perils of Pauline, which contributed to the popularization of the term cliff hanger. In June 1983, the National Park Service designated the Palisades a “National Natural Landmark.” Today it is a beloved destination for hiking and other recreational outdoor activities.
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