Flatiron Building, 1904, Lithograph
Joseph Pennell (American, 1857 – 1926)
Joseph Pennell was born in 1857 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Pennell worked as an etcher and illustrator in the U.S. and Europe. He settled in London and produced numerous books as both an illustrator and author, often in collaboration with his wife, author Elizabeth Robins Pennell. Pennell made hundreds of etchings, mezzotints, and lithographs throughout his career. His works often portrayed American and international landmarks and urban scenes from around the world. Today, Pennell is credited as having been a force in the revival of printmaking and print collecting in the 1900’s-1920’s.
This piece, titled Flatiron Building (1904), is in line with Pennell’s interest in depicting urban scenes, as it shows a bustling city block. A New York landmark, the Flatiron Building is depicted; however, it is viewed from an unusual orientation, so the viewer does not see the building from its iconic view at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue.