Numerous tall ships, small sailing vessels and a rowing boat occupy the water in this marine view of two islands of the West Indies. The small islet, known as Pigeon Island (located just off the northern region of Saint Luci until 1972 when it was artificially joined to the mainland by a man-made causeway), dominates the left of the composition and part of Gros Island Bay on the island of Saint Lucia itself can be seen beyond. At the time the original drawing, on which this print is based, was made by Lieutenant Charles Forrest, Gros Island Bay was the site of a British naval base. This aquatint version was published a few years later between 1783 and 1786.
Engraver Francis Chesham exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1777-78, when living on Broad Street, Soho. He worked for several publishers specialising in landscape views and also engraved portraits after Charles Catton the elder for ‘The English Peerage’ (1790); after Robert Dodd for John Boydell’s ‘Admiral Parker's Victory’ (1782) and two engravings after George Robertson's views of the iron works in Coalbrookdale. When Chesham exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1780 he gave his address as ‘Mr Wood’s, Richmond Buildings’. Wood was an attorney in Soho, who specialised in bankrupts. The engraver may also be the Francis Chesham of Pall Mall and Walworth Terrace, described as a ‘Printseller, Dealer and Chapman’, who was bankrupt in 1790.
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