HOMER, WINSLOW. 1836-1910. Life in Camp. Boston: L. Prang & Co, 1864.
24 chromolithographs, each 105 x 62 mm, corner mounted on two album pages, 12 per page, light foxing, images clean, bright.
VERY RARE COMPLETE SET OF WINSLOW HOMER'S SECOND SERIES OF CIVIL WAR CHROMOLITHOGRAPHS LIFE IN CAMP. A follow up to the Prang-Homer collaboration entitled Campaign Sketches, Life in Camp was issued as two series of 12 lithographed cards each, both in colored and uncolored states.
In 1854 Homer began his career as an apprentice for the famed Boston lithography firm of John H. Bufford. By 1859, he was illustrating for Harper's Weekly. In 1861 and 1862, he joined the encampment of McClellan's Army of the Potomac, and spent 5 weeks with the troops on the Peninsular Campaign to Richmond. His sketches and watercolors produced for Harper's Weekly brought him considerable attention.
In 1863, he produced Campaign Sketches a series of 6 lithographs which captured the war experience on a very personal level. Prang and Homer planned a second series in that format, but instead issued Life in Camp in December 1864. "A careful examination of [these images] reveals in rough form the subject matter of two of Homer's wartime canvases" (Neely & Holzer, The Union Image: Popular Prints of the Civil War North, pp 69-70). In December of 1863, during the creation of Campaign Sketches, Homer had written to Prang, "The stone was received all right. I shall commence it very soon, probably send it to you week from Wednesday," evincing the very real possibility that Homer himself drew the images for these lithographs on stone.
Complete sets of these important chromolithographs from his formative Civil War period are very rare. In fact, we trace no copies of the complete set of both series at auction in rarebookhub.