SCENOGRAPHIA AMERICANA - Archibald CAMPBELL (1739-1791), after
[Four Views drawn on the spot, by Lieut. Archibald Campbell, Engineer]
[London: Printed for John Bowles, Robert Sayer, Thomas Jefferys, Carington Bowles, and Henry Parker, circa 1768]. Oblong folio. (17 1/4 x 24 inches). Complete suite of 4 engraved views.
Expertly bound to style in half russia and combed marbled paper covered boards.
Very rare complete suite of among the most beautifully engraved Carribbean views of the 18th century.
The plates are titled as follows: 1) A View of Roseau in the Isle of Dominique, with the Attack Made by Lord Rollo & Sir James Douglass, in 1760. Engraved by James Peake after Campbell. 2) A South West View of Fort Royal in the Island of Guadaloupe. Engraved by P. Benazech after Campbell. 3) A North View of Fort Royal in the Island of Guadaloupe, When in Posession of His Majesty's Forces in 1759. Engraved by Grignion after Campbell. 4) An East View of Fort Royal in the Island of Guadaloupe. Engraved by Peter Mazell after Campbell. Published following the conclusion of the French and Indian War, and in a period of great public interest in the American colonies, the Scenographia Americana was the first book dedicated to a large-scale artistic depiction of the American landscape. From the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the West Indies, the scenes include locations of battles, views of strategic provincial capitals, and newly secured areas of commercial importance. Just as clear is the celebration of nature's 'astonishingly great' expanse, to cite Pownall, great in width and in height. Here are harbors and rivers, cascades, forests and skies" (Hood). In 1768, the plates were published in two forms, the complete set of 28 engraved plates (priced at four guineas); or as seven separate suites as follows: six views of Canada after Smith (plates 1-6, priced 1 guinea); two views in Canada (plates 7-8, priced 7s); two views of New York after Howdell (plates 9-10, priced 7s); two views of Boston and Charlestown, SC (plates 11-12, priced 7s, 6d for the pair or 3s, 6d individually); six views after Pownall (plates 13-18, priced 1 guinea); six views of Havana after Durnford (plates 19-24, priced 1 guinea); and four views in the West Indies after Campbell (plates 25-28, priced 14s) [as here]. In 1758, Archibald Campbell was commissioned into the Royal Engineers, serving in the Seven Years' War. Besides seeing action at the Siege of Quebec (in which he was wounded), he participated in a number of raids along the coast of France, as well as in expeditions in the West Indies, from which he based these views. He would later command a regiment in the American Revolution and become the colonial Governor of Jamaica.
Sabin 77467 (giving the French title only as per Leclerc 532); Lowndes, p. 2185 (incorrectly describing the work as 27 views; Deak, Picturing America, 107; Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island 1498-1909, I: pp. 281-295; Stokes, American Historical Prints B-92; Fowble, Two Centuries of Prints in America, 25-30; John E. Crowley, "The Scenographia Americana (1768): A transnational landscape for early America" in Common-Place, vol. 6, no. 2 (January 2006); Donald F. Clark, "Six Remarkable Views, 1761: the Collaboration of Governor Pownall and Paul Sandby" in Imprint, vol. 4, no. 1 (April 1979); Graham Hood, "America the Scenic" in Colonial Williamsburg Journal, Spring 2009; Spendlove, pp. 6-8.