Panoramic View of Corfu

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Greece
    City: Athens
    Place: British Embassy

    This aquatint print is based on a drawing, made on the spot by Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Thomas McNiven. A key below the image identifies many of the buildings and features included in the landscape.

    The work was engraved and published by artist, printmaker and publisher Robert Havell junior at his premises at 77 Oxford Street, London. Havell advertised the work for sale in the back pages of his edition of ‘Audubon the Naturalist’, along with his ‘Panorama of King George’s Sound’ and other topographical and natural history prints. The advertisement explains that Havell has ‘on Sale a very extensive and well selected Assortment of ENGRAVINGS and WORKS OF ART, with the Prices affixed’ and that all are ‘Engraved, Printed and Coloured, under his entire inspection, on his Establishment.’

  • About the artist
    Topographical and biblical artist Thomas William Ogilvie McNiven was born in Banff, Scotland. He was commissioned in the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment (The Black Watch) in 1812 and served at Gibraltar and at the Battle of Toulouse in 1814. Although wounded at Toulouse, he recovered and later served with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and the Surreys (70th Regiment of Foot). He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1841. McNiven exhibited views of Elba and Paestum at the Society of British Artists in 1846. He also gave sketches to other artists, such as Henry Martens, to be worked up into paintings. In 1861 he was resident in Edinburgh. His watercolours of the Battles of Vitoria and Toulouse are now in the National Army Museum, London.
    Robert Havell junior was the son of painter, engraver and publisher Robert Havell senior. Together with his father, Robert junior formed the firm of R. Havell & Son. Father and son worked jointly on numerous projects, including their ‘Series of Views of the Public Buildings & Bridges in London’ (1821-22) and ‘Birds of America’ (1827-39) for the American ornithologist John James Audubon. However, Robert senior died in 1832, leaving his son to complete the project. In the following few years Havell focused on oil painting. As a result of his friendship with Audubon, he decided to emigrate to America, moving to Tarrytown, New York state, in 1857. Here he became a leading member of the Hudson River school. He died in Tarrytown at the age of 84.
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  • Details
    Title
    Panoramic View of Corfu
    Date
    published 1 August 1836
    Medium
    Colour aquatint
    Acquisition
    Presented by Brigadier General Julius Young, July 1954
    Provenance
    Thomas Smith, Clerk to the Council on Corfu; by descent to Brigadier General Julius Young CB, by whom presented 1954
    GAC number
    2864