Fraktur, Exselenc Georg General Waschingdon and Ledy Waschingdon

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  • Attributed to: The Sussel-Washington Artist (active ca. 1760-1779)
  • Pennsylvania
  • ca. 1780
  • Water color and Ink on Laid Paper
  • 1958.305.18

Stiff, frontal poses; bright blues, yellows, and reds; and heavy outlining characterize the frakturs attributed to the Sussel-Washington Artist. Standing human figures similar to the couple shown here dominate much of the decorator's work, with some variation in poses (including at least one man in profile), costumes, and coloration. All of the figures wear eighteenth-century attire, and all of the male figures are shown in military dress.

The fine quality of this piece's execution is consistent with others by the same hand. Compared with other fraktur decorators working in late eighteenth-century Pennsylvania, the Sussel-Washington Artist was more adept in drawing and perhaps more experienced. The sureness of his lines and the precision of repeated motifs is evident throughout, especially in Lady Washington's dress and where hatched and cross-hatched lines were used to provide detail and pattern.

Baptismal wishes (Tauf-wunsch) and birth and baptismal certificates comprise the majority of formats produced by the artist. Purely decorative pieces, such as 1958.305.18, may have been created as gifts or simply for personal enjoyment. In either case, this artist's works rank among the most aesthetically pleasing and best known of all the frakturs that survive from Pennsylvania.

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