The Pitons, St. Lucia
About the work
Interpretation about this artwork is under review
The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.
The Pitons, located on the southwest coast of in Saint Lucia near the towns of Soufriere and Choiseul, are two volcanic plugs. At over 2,000 feet high, they are the most famous landmark on the island.
This is one of two lithographic prints, published as illustrations to the book ‘Andrews’ Illustrations of the West Indies: Sailing Directions for the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Florida’. The publication is partly a collection of attractive lithographic prints, showing landscapes of the Caribbean, and partly a guide for sailors visiting the area, with technical illustrations of the shoreline and details of precise locations in longitude and latitude. The text accompanying this plate includes the following:
‘Many of the heights assume very fantastic shapes, and several of them leave no doubt as to their having been, probably at no very remote period, active craters. In one of them, called Soufrière, the acting volcanic agency is still attended by the sulphurous vapours which are still arising from it. Two of the most remarkable are the Great and Little Pitons, situated near the S. W. shore, and shown in the accompanying view.’
About the artist
From c.1842 William Stephen Andrews captained mail steamers for the Royal West India Mail Co. During voyages between the West Indies and Southampton he made sketches, published as ‘Illustrations of the West Indies’ (1859). In 1847 he gained a nautical astronomy master’s at the Royal Naval College. Later that year he became Harbour Master at Lowestoft, constructing the new harbour there. In c.1851 he was employed as Managing Director of the North of Europe Steam Navigation Co. In 1856 he leased a shipyard adjoining Lowestoft Harbour. However, in 1861 he and his brother John appeared at Suffolk County Court for misconduct over the shipbuilding business. John was jailed and Andrews entered Bethel Hospital for Lunatics, Norwich, where he died.