FISHER, George Bulteel (1764-1834), after; J. W. EDY, engraver
[Six Views in North America, from Original Drawings Made on the Spot, by Lieutenant Fisher, of the Royal Artillery. Engraved in Aqua Tinta by J. W. Edy]
London: J. W. Edy, 1795-96. Broadsheet folio. (29 x 21 inches). Six aquatints, printed in sepia. Two with expert repairs to splits at plate mark.
Bound to style in half morocco and brown moire cloth covered boards
A very rare complete series of stunningly beautiful aquatint views of North America: "Probably the most beautiful prints of Canada ever published " (Spendlove).
Views comprise (titled as per titles on the prints):
1) View on the St Anns or Grand River
2) View of St Anthonys Nose, on the North River, Province of New York
3) View of the River St Lawrence, Fall of Montmorenci from the Island of Orleans
4) Fall of Montmorenci, 246 perpendicular feet
5) View of the Falls of Chaudière
6) View of Cape Diamond, Plains of Abraham and part of the Town of Quebec and River St. Lawrence
A beautiful set of aquatints produced by J.W. Edy, after the original artwork of George Buteel Fisher. Lieutenant Fisher had already established himself as a respected artist, having exhibited at the Royal Academy, when he came to Canada as aide-de-camp to the commander-in-chief of the Canadian forces in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward (later the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria). These images of some of Canada's most striking landscapes were executed during the four years of their tour of duty, and were dedicated by the artist to his royal patron. John William Edy, as talented in aquatint as Fisher was with a brush, executed these prints in 1795-96. The series has long been considered among the most beautiful images of early Canada to be published.
These prints are renowned for their sweeping, dramatic portrayal of the Canadian landscape. In each are found Indians (engaged in various activities), ships, or other devices enabling the artist to add perspective to the romantic landscapes. Of particular note is the view on the St. Ann's, about which the noted authority on early Canadian illustration, George Spendlove, says, "[t]his is probably the highest development of the Romance Landscape in the iconography of Canada." Together, the six views provide an excellent sense of 18th-century Canada as it would appear to her colonists, being at once both harsh and intimidating, while still possessing a certain peace that Spendlove credits to "the Divine Almighty Architect." A superb suite of prints.
Spendlove, pp. 22-25; Deak 186.