View from the Upper Bank, English Side

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    Taken from a series of prints entitled ‘The Falls of Niagara’, published by Ackerman & Co., this print has been trimmed sometime in the past and part of the inscription has been removed. This means that it is not possible to identify whether it is from the first edition of ‘The Falls of Niagara’, published in 1833 and dedicated to the then current King William IV, or the second edition, published in 1857 and dedicated to the monarch who replaced him, Queen Victoria.

    The Niagara River forms the international border between the state of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York, U.S.A. The print includes both the Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side of the river, and the American Falls on the U.S. side. The two falls are separated by Goat Island in the center. In ‘View from the Upper Bank, English Side’ the view is taken from above the falls. The title of the work states that it was taken from the ‘English side’. This refers to the area known as Upper Canada, which bordered the river and was an English-speaking British colony from 1791 to 1841.

  • About the artist
    James Pattison Cockburn was born in New York, the son of Colonel John Cockburn. He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1793, the day after his 14th birthday. There Cockburn studied landscape drawing under Paul Sandby. He left two years later as a second lieutenant of the Royal Artillery. Whilst located in the many countries he was posted to throughout his career, he made numerous drawings and watercolours of the scenery. These resulted in the publication of collections of his views, including ‘Views of the Valley of Aosta’ (1822), ‘Pompeii Illustrated’ (1829) and ‘The Falls of Niagara’ (1833). Cockburn’s final promotion was to Major-General on 9 November 1846. He died shortly afterwards, at his home at Woolwich Common, Kent.
    Charles Hunt I was an aquatint engraver. He is best known for his engravings after the works of sporting artists, although his subjects also included transport, animal and topographical scenes. Although Hunt’s aquatints were generally made after the designs of his contemporaries, he sometimes made prints after his own designs. He was the father of Charles Hunt II, also an aquatint engraver of sporting subjects, and is thought to have been the brother of engraver George Hunt, with whom he collaborated early in his career. J. B. Hunt, who engraved a portrait of the trainer John Scott from a design by Harry Hall, published in the 1850s, may be another relative.
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  • Details
    View from the Upper Bank, English Side
    published 1833/1857
    Coloured aquatint
    Purchased from the Parker Gallery, June 1960
    in pencil, to left of centre lettering: NIAGARA FALLS FROM UPPER BANK
    GAC number