A View in the Island of Jamaica, of Fort William Estate, with part of Roaring River belonging to William Beckford Esq. near Savannah la Mar 
Engravingpublished 25 March 1778
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.
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).
About the artist
Thomas Vivares was born in Derby; the son of landscape engraver Francis Vivares. He was trained by his father and won several prizes for drawing or engraving at the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce between 1760 and 1766. He exhibited his drawings and engravings at the Free Society (1764 and 1782) and the Society of Artists (1782). Vivares married twice, both weddings were at St. Pancras Old Church in Camden, London. He spent a period of his career in Paris and, while there, engraved landscapes after French painter Pierre Alexandre Royer and Swiss printmaker and draughtsman Adrian Zingg.
- A View in the Island of Jamaica, of Fort William Estate, with part of Roaring River belonging to William Beckford Esq. near Savannah la Mar 
- published 25 March 1778
- Purchased from Frank T. Sabin, July 1962
- GAC number