View of St.Salvador, a City of South America

John Keyse Sherwin (1751 - 1790)

Coloured engraving

published 1782
  • About the work
    Country: Other
    City: other locations abroad
    This coloured engraving of 1782, showing a view of Salvador, was made after a print
    that was originally published in George Millar’s ambitiously titled work The New and Universal System of
    Geography: Being a Complete History and Description of the Whole World. 
    This work aimed to provide the reader with ‘a particular, full, accurate, circumstantial and entertaining Account’ of everything from the geographical features of countries to their histories, and from descriptions of flora and fauna to local customs.
    print of Salvador appears in the relatively small section devoted to Brazil
    near the end of the publication. As with the other locations presented in this
    work, the author writes of a number of aspects of Brazil: its history and its
    terrain, the local populations and occupations. Although the print and
    publication are dated 1782, almost twenty years after Rio de Janeiro took the
    place of Salvador as capital of the Portuguese colony of Brazil, Salvador is
    still referred to as the country’s ‘principle city’ and discussion of Rio is
    allotted only a small paragraph. Salvador was founded as capital of Brazil in
    1549 by Tomé de Sousa, the first governor-general. It was a centre of both the
    sugar and slave trades and continues to be known for its distinctive
    Afro-Brazilian culture. Millar refers to it as ‘populous, magnificent, and the
    most gay and opulent city in all Brazil’.


  • About the artist
    John Keyse Sherwin was born in Sussex, the son of Francis Sherwin, a labourer. He initially worked as a gardener on William Mitford’s estate near Petworth. In 1769, Mitford sent one of his drawings to the Society of Arts and the work won the silver medal. Sherwin later moved to London, where he studied painting under John Astley and engraving under Bartolozzi. In 1770 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. He set up his own studio in 1774, publishing his first engraving in 1775. During the next ten years he exhibited drawings of historical subjects. He also engraved works by Reynolds, Kauffman, Gainsborough and others. In 1785 he was made Historical Engraver to King George III. However, he died aged just 37 in an alehouse in Westminster.
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  • Details
    View of St.Salvador, a City of South America
    published 1782
    Coloured engraving
    height: 23.00 cm, width: 33.60 cm
    Purchased from Grosvenor Prints, London, October 2004
    Grosvenor Prints, London
    GAC number