This is an original drawing by George Hutchins Bellasis circa 1815. It is a unique work in an aquatint hand-coloured engravings by Robert Havell. It is generally in a very good condition except for some overall light soiling, a few small damages on its corners, and a slightly visible tape on verso in corners and a faint mat burn inside the plate mark.
The view of the various buildings in St. Jame’s town, Saint Helena as was seen from the Castle Terrace, a majestic walkway often used by visitors during local parades. The island reached the apex of its prominence and grandeur with the arrival of an exiled Napoleon in October of 1815. Napoleon lived at Longwood, an estate just outside Jamestown, until his death in May 1821. During that time, Bellasis sketched the present view of St. Helena which was well thought-out a most important link in the chain of safe harbours needed for fitting out ships on the busy trade route to India.
An introduction to Views of St. Helena by Bellasis states, “Clear and wholesome springs issue from the sides of almost every hill, and the valleys abound with yams, potatoes, and water-cresses, which are grateful to mariners; and here it is worthy of remark, that four crops may be produced in the year, the climate being a perpetual spring…”
Bellasis, during his stays on St. Helena for eight months, drew its diverse landscapes and its peoples. The views of St. Helena was published on the eve of Napoleon’s arrival, and it was Bellasis’ hope that his illustrations “would at the present period.”
Size: Plate mark: 12 3/8 x 16 3/8 inches. Sheet size: 12 3/4 x 17 1/2 inches.