SCENOGRAPHIA AMERICANA - Captain Hervey SMYTH (d. 1811); after
A View of the Fall of Montmorenci, and the attack made by General Wolfe, on the French Intrenchments near Beauport, with the Grenadiers of the Army, July 31 1759 ... Drawn on the spot by Capt. Hervey Smyth. Engraved by William Elliot
[London: Printed for John Bowles [et. al.], 1760-1768]. Engraving. Nine numbered references.
Among the rarest and most beautifully engraved Canadian views of the 18th century.
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 series of views 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. In 1768, the plates were published in three forms: individually; the complete set of 28 engraved plates (priced at four guineas); or as seven separate suites as follows: six views of Canada after Smyth (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). Referring to the suite of views by Smyth, Spendlove write: "They are pictures of considerable charm, and have much to offer the collector." The present image from the suite depicts the unsuccessful attack made by General Wolfe on July 31, 1759.
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. 12-13.