Joseph Pennell

Joseph Pennell, The Great Hammer, lithograph

The Acolytes preparing the Altar of the War God

Wuerth 435

lithograph, 1916, on medium-fine cream laid Ingres paper (with both the Ingres and the anchor-and-caduceus watermarks), a very fine impression with full margins, the only known state, one of fifty impressions, signed in pencil and dedicated to H. W. Wavray (?), deckle edges all around, some slight lightstaining overall from an old mount, a few faint handling creases, traces of an old tape mount on the reverse, and discoloration on the reverse, otherwise in excellent condition

L. 403x535mm., S. 484x635mm.

This powerful lithograph supplies a key to Pennell's industrial aesthetic. As he wrote, "No cathedral is more impressive, no altar finer; but instead of decking it with flowers, the men were making it ready to roll more armour plate. This drawing is but another proof that great work is great art, and that art today is joined to science ­ not religion; but the effect is just as fine."