Description: American expatriate artist Toby E. Rosenthal (1848-1917) lived in San Francisco for much of his childhood, studying drawing and painting with Bacon and Arriola before he moved to Munich, Germany at seventeen to study at the Royal Academy there. He painted mostly figural compositions, portraits, and genre work, and he won medals in Phildadelphia and in Munich for his work.
This is an albumen photograph of the painting "Elaine," from 1874, one of his best-known and best-loved paintings, cabinet size and signed by Rosenthal on the blank margin of the card. He also wrote "Munich, 1885" under his name. The image measures 3 1/4" x 5 1/4"; the card measures 4 1/4" x 6 1/2". The verso is decorated with advertising for the photo's publisher, the Photographic Society of Berlin, founded in 1862. Item #A00290
The painting is currently in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was inspired by Tennyson's Idylls of the Kings, and depicts Elaine, clutching her letter for Lancelot to her chest, as her body is brought down the river to Camelot. Favorably reviewed in Germany, when it arrived in San Francisco in 1875, more than 8,000 people paid 25 cents each to see it over the course of just a few days.
Condition: Lightly soiled, one tiny nick in the surface of the photo, lower right corner. Generally very good.