Artist: Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874-1951).
Title: The Century August.
Date of printing: 1897.
Technique: Original chromolithography
Joseph Christian Leyendecker ('J.C.' or 'Joe') was born on March 23, 1874, at Montabaur in western Germany, a tiny village 18km east of the Rhine, to Peter Leyendecker (1838–1916) and Elizabeth Ortseifen Leyendecker (1845–1905). Joseph was the first-born son, and his brother Francis Xavier was born three years later. A sister, Mary Augusta, the third and last child, arrived after the family emigrated to America.
In 1882, the Leyendecker family immigrated to Chicago, Illinois, where Elizabeth's brother Adam Ortseifen was Vice president of the successful McAvoy Brewing Company. After working in late adolescence for a Chicago engraving firm, J. Manz & Company, and completing his first commercial commission of 60 Bible illustrations for the Powers Brothers Company, J. C. sought formal artistic training at the school of the Chicago Art Institute.
In 1895 the April-September issue of Inland Printer had an introduction to J.C. Leyendecker. The article described his work for J. Manz & Company as well as his intention to study in Paris. The article also featured a sketch and two book covers he had illustrated. The book covers were provided courtesy of E.A. Weeks. E.A. Weeks was a Chicago Publisher between 1893 and 1899. In this same year, J.C. Leyendecker created his first poster. It was also for E.A. Weeks. The poster was for the book One Fair Daughter by Frank Frankfort Moore.
After studying drawing and anatomy under John H. Vanderpoel at the Chicago Art Institute, J. C. and younger brother Frank enrolled in the Académie Julian in Paris for a year, where they were exposed to the work of Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Chéret, and also Alphonse Mucha, a leader in the French Art Nouveau movement.
Size or Dimensions
Size (image size exc. margins nor matting): 21.6 x 16.0 cm.
Size (inc. matting): 40 x 30 cm.
Date of printing: 1897
Skilfully matted under museum-quality card-board; ready to frame.