WITH THE SCARCE PROSPECTUS (ALLEGORIES.) Peter C. Verger, engraver; after J.F. Renault. Triumph of Liberty, Dedicated to its Defenders in America. Etching, 16 x 21 1/2 inches; skillful restoration in margins scarcely affecting image, faint vertical fold. New York, November 1796
First state. An allegory of ascendant American liberty using Roman iconography. The goddess Minerva pays tribute to fallen American war heroes amidst monuments, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. A bonfire is fueled by crowns and scepters. In the foreground, horrified monarchs flee into the woods while a partially dismembered hydra twitches in the darkness. Much of this is explained by the accompanying prospectus, as well as a lengthy caption which was later added to the 1798 second state. Fowble 322; Reilly 1796-1; Stauffer 3344.
With--Renault & Verger. "Prospectus of an Allegorical Picture of the Triumph of Liberty." One printed sheet, 10 x 8 1/4 inches, in parallel English and French; toned, worn with slight loss of text, laid down on later paper with conservator's pencil note: "This prospectus was posted on board and taken off and mounted." Issued two months after the plate was completed, it explains the symbolism in greater detail than the caption of the 1798 printing would. The union of French and American revolutionary ideals is stressed by the presence of Rousseau's ashes in an urn, and "a little Genius presenting to view the Marseilles Hymn." Within 18 months the two nations were on the verge of war. Np, 6 January 1797.