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.
This print is from a series of six views of Jamaica, which were commissioned by the sugar planter and historian William Beckford (1744-1799). Beckford was born in Jamaica, the son of Richard Beckford (died 1756), from whom he inherited four Jamaican sugar estates. He was also the nephew of William Beckford, Lord Major of London, and cousin of William Thomas Beckford, known for building Fonthill Abbey, in Wiltshire. After studying at Balliol College in Oxford, William Beckford travelled through Europe from 1767 to 1768. He later married and moved to Jamaica with his wife in February 1774, remaining there for 13 years. It was during his time in Jamaica that Beckford began to patronise artists he had met in England, inviting them to visit his Jamaican home. Among these artists were the portrait painter Philip Wickstead (died 1786) and landscape painter George Robertson (1742-1788).
Daniel Lerpinière was born to a French family, living in England. He trained as a pupil of French landscape engraver François Vivares (1709-1782), who had established a successful business in London and was a central figure in the formation of an English school of landscape engraving. Lerpinière was an etcher and engraver, not only of landscapes, but also of religious and sporting subjects. He produced engravings after contemporary artists, as well as after the work of Old Master painters.
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