Five Views of Nova Scotia

Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres (1722 - 1824)

Coloured aquatint

published 1 December 1780
  • About the work
    Country: Canada
    City: Ottawa
    Place: British High Commission

    These five images show cliffs and islands in the province of Nova Scotia, located on the southeastern coast of Canada. Lettering beneath each image tells us that the locations include views of Cape Doré, reportedly named Doré (unrefined gold) because the yellow clay it is composed of reflects like gold when struck by the sun; and Isle Haute (meaning high), so named because of its height above sea level.

    The British seized the region of Nova Scotia from French control between 1713 and 1760, and, in 1749, established a new capital to the province, at Halifax.

  • About the artist
    Colonial official and hydrographer Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres was born to a Huguenot family. He was educated in Basel but trained at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In 1756 he became a Lieutenant in the Royal Americans and left for North America. He served at the siege of Louisbourg (1758), in campaigns of 1759 and 1760, worked on defences at Halifax (1761) and surveyed the coast of Nova Scotia (1764-73). In 1774 he returned to England. His drawings were published as ‘The Atlantic Neptune’ (1774-84). In 1778 he published ‘Nautical Remarks on the Coasts and Harbours of Nova Scotia’. He acquired land in Canada and was promoted to Colonel in 1798, and appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward Island at 82. He died aged 102.
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  • Details
    Five Views of Nova Scotia
    published 1 December 1780
    Coloured aquatint
    height: 65.80 cm, width: 54.60 cm
    Purchased from the Parker Gallery, June 1960
    GAC number