SALT, Henry (1780-1827)
Sandy Bay Valley in the Island of St. Helena
London: William Miller, 1 May 1809. Hand-coloured aquatint engraving by D. Havell after Henry Salt, on wove paper (watermark 'J Whatman'). Image size (including text): 16 1/2 x 23 3/8 inches. Sheet size: 20 1/4 x 29 1/2 inches.
View of the British colonial island St. Helena prior to its becoming Napoleon's last residence
Henry Salt, artist, traveller, diplomat and collector of antiquities, was born at Lichfield, Staffordshire, England 14 June 1780. He was destined to be a portrait-painter, and on leaving school was taught drawing by Glover, the watercolour-painter of Lichfield. In 1797 he went to London and became a pupil of Joseph Farington, R.A., and (in 1800) of John Hoppner, R.A. The turning point in his career was 3 June 1802, when Salt left London for an eastern tour with George, viscount Valentia (afterwards Lord Mountnorris), whom he accompanied as secretary and draughtsman. He visited India, Ceylon, and (in 1805) Abyssinia, returning to England on 26 Oct. 1806. He made many drawings, some of which served to illustrate Lord Valentia's Voyages and Travels to India, published in 1809. The present image is from a work titled Twenty-four Views in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt, published by William Miller, with hand-coloured aquatints by D. Havell and J. Bluck from Salt's own drawings. The originals of all these drawings were retained by Lord Valentia, who also retained the ownership of the copper plates after Salt's death. The format and style of presentation of the plates is similar to Thomas and William Daniell's great work, Oriental Scenery (1795-1808), and the artistry displayed by both Salt and his engravers is in many cases more than a match for the Daniell's images.
Abbey Travel II 515 no.5.