Interior View of Independence Hall, Philadelphia


This 1856 chromolithograph shows visitors of all ages gathered in the Assembly Room of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which is being used as an exhibit gallery. Men, women, and children promenade, converse, and admire the artifacts that adorn the room, which has a parquet floor. Framed artwork lines the paneled walls, predominately from the portrait collection of American painter Charles Wilson Peale. Also seen are the portrait painting of William Penn by artist Henry Inman, and the portrait painting of the Marquis de Lafayette by artist Thomas Sully. In the rear center of the room, under a chandelier, stands the wood statue of George Washington by sculptor William Rush (carved in 1815, installed in 1824). To the right, a stuffed bald eagle sits atop the Liberty Bell (installed in 1852). The bell is displayed on a pedestal adorned with fasces, a banner, and a shield. Nearby is the "Rising Sun" chair, one of a number of chairs lining the room. This chair was used by George Washington as he presided over the Constitutional Convention. The gallery also includes a writing desk associated by legend with the Declaration of Independence and the framed Thomas Sully painting of the coat of arms of Philadelphia. The artist of this chromolithograph was Max Rosenthal (1833–1918), a skilled lithographer, engraver, and painter. This print was produced by Louis N. Rosenthal (born circa 1824), a pioneer chromolithographer who operated the Philadelphia firm Rosenthal’s Lithography with his brothers Max, Morris, and Simon circa 1851–72. Max delineated the majority of the chromolithographs for the firm. Louis and Max were born in Turck, Russian Poland; Louis immigrated to the United States in 1848, and Max circa 1849. The firm produced illuminated book plates, sheet music covers, advertisements, labels, geological and anatomical drawings, portraits, maps, views of buildings, and during the Civil War, a series of camp and battle scenes.

Last updated: December 11, 2015