Drawn by an architect and executed in aquatint by an English engraver, this tranquil nineteenth-century scene depicts the bay of New York from across the East River. Governor's Island, which faces the southern tip of Manhattan, occupies the foreground. Fort Columbus was located on the island, and one can discern soldiers in a drill or lounging on the grass, and mounted cannon that face the city's harbor. Across the East River, at the extreme left is Castle Garden, nicely framed by two large vessels. Slightly to the right is the graceful spire of Trinity Church. Further north along the quays, masts of ships mingle with the spires of other churches to form the Manhattan skyline. The drawing on which the aquatint is based is by Frederick Catherwood, a native of London and a man of abundant talent. He was a trained architect, a widely traveled explorer and archeologist, a historical and panoramic painter, and an engineer. Catherwood was among the first to explore and record the buried civilizations of the Yucatan; he also traveled on archeological missions to Italy, Greece, Egypt, and many other countries. Two years after his arrival in New York in 1836, Catherwood exhibited a panorama of Jerusalem that was a widely imitated success. Thereafter, the chronology of his life includes works of various kinds in Mexico and Central and South America, a Gold Rush experience in California, and returns to New York. He was lost at sea aboard the SS Arctic, which left Liverpool bound for New York on September 20, 1854 and collided near its destination with a French vessel. Writing a century after his death, Aldous Huxley compared Catherwood with Piranesi and remarked that, "professionally speaking, Catherwood belongs to a species -- the artist-archeologist -- which is all but extinct." Catherwood's view of New York from Governor's Island was sketched in watercolor sometime after he took up residence in New York in August 1844 at 86 Prince Street. By the spring of the following year, he had left for a journey to South America, where he remained for several years. Henry A. Papprill, who executed the aquatint, was an English artist who spent a few years in America. He was born in London in 1817, the son of a tailor and the descendant of several generations of blacksmiths. In 1846 he is recorded in New York, where he stayed until no later than 1851. Papprill went on to become one of the most noted and prolific engravers in late-nineteenth century London. Yet because he spent so little time in New York and only two views of the city engraved by him are known to exist, his New York works are especially prized by collectors. In this atmospheric aquatint, Papprill reproduced in faithful detail Catherwood's evocative portrayal of the bustling port of New York in the mid-nineteenth century. This rare aquatint represents the only known collaboration between Catherwood and Papprill. References: I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island (New York, 1967), Vol. 3, pl. 131, pp. 697-698; and G. G. Deak, Picturing America 1497-1899 (Princeton, 1988), Vols. 1 & 2, pl. 531. N° de ref. de la librería
Título: 'New-York. Taken from the Northwest Angle of...
Editorial: Date depicted: 1844; published: New York, 1846.
Ilustrador: Engraved by Henry Papprill - Aquatint
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