J. Stevens

Artist's Biography

A View of the Landing the New England Forces in ye Expedition against Cape Breton, 1745.

Copper plate engraving. 1747.
Image 12 7/8 x 19 3/8" (32.8 x 49.2 cm)
Good condition with fine original handcoloring.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 94826
Price: $15,000.00
Publisher : Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhil & Carington Bowles next the Chapter House in St. Pauls Church Yard.
J. Stevens Pinxt; Brooks, Sculp. Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhil, & Carrington Bowles next the Chapter House in St. Pauls Church Yard., London.

The title continues with: “When after a Siege of 40 days the Town and Fortress of LOUISBOURG and the important Territories thereto belonging were recover’d to the British Empire. The brave and Active Commodore Warren, since made a Knight of the Bath & Vice Admiral of ye White commanded the British Squadron in his glorious Expedition, The Hon. Willm. Pepperell Esqr. (since Knighted) went a Voluntier & Commanded the New England Men who bravely offer’d their service and went as private Soldiers, in this hazardous but very glorious Enterprize.”

King George’s War (1744–1748), known in Europe as the War of Austrian Succession (1740–1748), in America was fought in the northern colonies and New France. It was essentially fought with colonials. That meant that New England recruits were used the front lines.

The fortress at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island (called by the French, Isle Royale), was a vital commercial center for the French in North America in the first half of the 18th Century. In May 1744, the French governor of the fortress of Louisbourg, initiated a round of hostilities by capturing the New England fishing station at Canso, Nova Scotia. A decision was made to attack the fortress in 1745. Massachusetts and the District of Maine raised 3,250 men, Connecticut 500, New Hampshire 450, while New York sent guns, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey sent money (Rhode Island sent some men as well, but they were late in arriving). The provincial fleet, under command of Captain Tyng, included transport ships and armed vessels with 240 guns. The force was supplemented at Canso by a small British squadron of 10 warships and 500 guns command of Commodore Peter Warren. After a six-week siege, the fortress was captured by the New England force under the superb leadership of William Pepperell and Commodore Warren.
It was returned to the French by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. Thus began the discontent of many colonists who fought so bravely only to have it given back. It was again recaptured in 1758 by the British during the French and Indian War. The British destroyed the fortress two years later and with it the French foothold in North America.

The artist is noted as J. Stevens. Little is known about Stevens with the exception that he prepared or painted several other works that John Brooks engraved. Whether he actually was at the battle or worked from a description is unknown.John Brooks active 1730–56, engraver, was a native of Ireland, and his first known work was executed in line-engraving in Dublin in 1730. The skill and industry of Brooks in his early years appeared in a copy which he made in pen and ink from a plate of Richard III by Hogarth, who is said to have mistaken it for his own engraving. The earliest engraved portrait of Mrs. Woffington is that by Brooks and bears the date of June 1740. Between 1741 and 1746 Brooks produced int Dublin several mezzotint portraits and engravings. About 1747 he settled in London and engaged in the management of a manufactory at Battersea for the enameling of china in colors by a process which he had devised. The articles produced were ornamented with subjects chiefly from Homer and Ovid and were greatly admired for the beauty of the designs and the elegance and novelty of the style in which they were executed. The manufactory was for a time successful but led eventually to the bankruptcy of its chief proprietor, Stephen Theodore Janssen, lord mayor of London for 1754-5. Brooks continued in London as an engraver and enameller of china.

Very rare.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Historical , Famous Events