[Joh. Heinrich Lips, 1758-1817]; Peale Folio - General WASHINGTON - Portrait
Lips beautiful engraving in French after Charles Willson Peale’s 1782 George Washington, painted for a French officer who served in America during the Revolution and commemorating the victory at Yorktown. Peale’s portrait depicts Washington not as president but as the military commander who fought and won the American Revolution. Even though it is not a presidential portrait, Peale’s Washington allows us to broaden our scope to talk about the reasons Washington had such a great reputation among his countrymen, and indeed internationally. The American people have had a habit of rewarding successful military commanders with the presidency, and the pattern was set from the beginning with Washington’s military career.
Johann Heinrich Lips (29 April 1758, in Kloten – 5 May 1817, in Zürich) was a Swiss copper engraver; mostly of portraits.
32 x 27 cm
Copper engraving, 1783.
Lips' talent for drawing enabled an apprenticeship for him with the painter, Johann Caspar Füssli. Later, he was also able to obtain a position with the etcher, Johann Rudolf Schellenberg, in Winterthur. From 1774 to 1776, he worked with Schellenberg to produce the illustrations for Lavater's famous work Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntniß und Menschenliebe, a major treatise on physiognomy. Following that, he briefly worked with Johann Caspar's son, Johann Heinrich Füssli, better known as Henry Fuseli.
From 1780 to 1782, with financial assistance, he made a study tour of Germany which included time at the Drawing Academy in Mannheim and a visit to Düsseldorf, where he discovered the works of Anthony van Dyck. From 1782 to 1789, he spent much of his time in Rome, where he became part of the German artistic community; befriending Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, who was touring Italy with Goethe.