[Piano] Heath, William. (1794 - 1840) [ATTRIBUTED TO] [McLean, Thomas. (1788–1875)]

"I'd Be a Butterfly... The Wish Granted" - Original Print

Hand-colored print published c. 1820s by Thomas McLean, depicting a woman perched on the edge of her piano bench with beautiful human-sized butterfly wings attached to her back and an expression of astonishment upon her face.  In the lower corner, a diminutive figure with cloven feat and in elaborate Orientalist dress stands upon crutches and holds up a stick, perhaps the genie responsible for her wings and the titular granted wish.  At the top of the illustration are the words "I'd have a pair of those beautiful wings," a reference along with the top caption and the sheet music seen on the piano to the 1820 song "I'd Be a Butterfly" by Thomas Haines Bailey.  Matted, fine.  10 x 14 inches (25.4 x 35.6 cm.).

Thomas McLean was a London artist, printseller and publisher who specialized in the publication of political caricatures, issuing hundreds of cartoons in journals such as the Monthly Sheet of Caricatures. Published by McLean, the present work is unsigned by the artist. However the identical carpet depicted here appears in the stylistically similar work " The Landlady at Your Service Sir..."  from the series ca. 1829 series "Sketches of Character" (plate 5), by William Heath, best known for his published engravings which included caricatures, political cartoons, and commentary on contemporary life. The British Museum catalogue has over 160 works by Heath. (18653)

Art & Design
Classical Music