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Rosenthal lithographic prints of Civil War encampments

Identifier: GRA 0106

Scope and Contents

The Rosenthal lithographic prints of Civil War encampments comprises 23 color lithographs printed by Rosenthal's Lith. of Philadelphia between 1861 and 1865.

The views are a part of a large number of Civil War battle and camp scenes published by the company. Over one hundred and fifty views of specific battles and encampments were made from pencil drawings and hand-colored after printing. Although not signed, the images are credited to Max Rosenthal, who had a pass giving him access to every camp of the Army of the Potomac.

Each image bears publishing information: "Entered according to act of Congress in the year 18xx, by L.N. Rosenthal, in the Clerk's Off. of the Dist. Ct. of the Eastern Dist. of Penn., Rothenthal's Lith., 327 Walnut St., Phila." The images measure 15 x 27 cm. (a few vary in size) and are bordered by gold frame-lines. The encampment scenes may have been produced on commission for direct sale to the soldiers and their families.

Each finished print on paper measures approximately 28 x 38 cm. The papers bear staining and small tears and chipping, but conservation work in 2009 included cleaning, backing, and new protective housing. This collection appears to have been obtained from several sources and was not brought together by a known collector.


  • Creation: 1861-1865


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Historical Note

Rosenthal's Lith. was an important lithographic printing company, active in Philadelphia from 1852 to 1884.

The company included four Polish-born brothers who had immigrated to America: Louis, Morris, Simon, and Max Rosenthal. Max Rosenthal (1833-1918), who was skilled in etching, illustration, and lithography, was the artistic backbone of the group. Born in Poland, he was sent to Paris at age thirteen and apprenticed to the lithographer Martin Thurwanger. Both Rosenthal and Thurwanger immigrated to the United States around 1849 or 1850 to produce lithographs of scientific subjects for the government. Thurwanger returned to France and Rosenthal worked briefly for the lithographer Napoleon Sarony.

Max Rosenthal became a partner with his older brother Louis in a printing business, and they were soon joined by Morris and Simon. Louis was a publisher and printer, and Morris and Simon branched into other parts of the business. Max became well known as a lithographer and, after his retirement in 1884, devoted his attention to teaching, mezzotint engraving, and oil painting. With his son Albert Rosenthal, also an artist, Max Rosenthal produced over five hundred portrait prints of famous American political and military figures. Original drawings for his portrait work are held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Rosenthal's Lith. produced both hand-colored lithographs and chromolithographs and is remembered for pioneering work in this field. They produced some of the earliest chromolithographs in the United States, including Charles W. Webber's Hunter-Naturalist, published in 1851, and a number of large views of Philadelphia architecture. A number of these Philadelphia prints were based on watercolors and sketches by Max Rosenthal. They produced book illustrations of Philadelphia views, caricatures of famous people, and works for the federal government.


Peters, Harry T. America on Stone: The Other Printmakers to the American People. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, c1931.


23 item

Metadata Rights Declarations


The Rosenthal lithographic prints of Civil War encampments comprises 23 color lithographs printed by Rosenthal's Lith. of Philadelphia between 1861 and 1865.


The prints are arranged alphabetically by camp or fort name; two of these camps are named by proximity to cities, i.e. "Camp near Alexandria, Va."

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Materials Available in Alternative Format

Digital copies of the lithographs are available as a collection in the University of Delaware Libraries ARTstor Commons site.

NOTE: We are in the process of transitioning where our digital collections are housed. During this time, links to Artstor should directly forward you to the materials' new location in JSTOR. If you encounter any issues, please contact Special Collections using our AskSpec webform.

Shelving Summary

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC GRA oversize boxes (18 inches)

OCLC Number

Processing Information

Processed by Iris Snyder, 1997. Encoded by Jillian Kuzma, February 2009.

Finding aid for Rosenthal lithographic prints of Civil War encampments
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2009 February 10
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA