View of the Camp in the Isle of Wight
circa 1741. Engraving with superb early colour. Printed on laid watermarked paper. In excellent condition with the exception of a small mended tear in the upper margin. Image size: 11 5/8 x 17 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 14 3/8 x 19 3/4 inches. Plate mark: 12 1/2 x 18 3/8 inches.
A fascinating view, with superb early colour, of the festivities surrounding the encampment on the Isle of Wight.
This is a stunning print depicting the festivities surrounding a military encampment on the Isle of Wight in 1741. It represents George II's preparations for the invasion of Europe to participate in the War of the Austrian Succession. George's primary concern was that Hanover would be secure, but he, and England, were ostensibly allied to Maria Theresa, Hapsburg Empress. The image shows officers entertaining well-dressed women on a hill above a parade ground. One clearly gets the impression of an army not yet engaged in bloodshed or in imminent danger. There is lots of drinking and romance, which makes it probable that this represents the army to its departure to Flanders. The original was painted by the French painter Augustin Menageot who was better known for his success as a fine art dealer than for his picturesque paintings. There is little known about the life and work of Augustin Menageot, except that he was the father of the celebrated history painter Francois Guillaume Menageot, but this superb view bears witness to Menageot's artistic skill. Menageot combines a precisely balanced composition with a lively display of animated figures to create a captivating image that bustles with life. This remarkable impression, with superb early colour, has been printed without the original title and dedication, suggesting that the print may have been re-marketed as a decorative military scene as opposed to a visual chronicle of a specific event.