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WEBBER, J. - View in Macao, including the residence of camoens, when he wrote his Lusiad.

WEBBER, J. -  View in Macao, including the residence of camoens, when he wrote his Lusiad.
View in Macao, including the residence of camoens, when he wrote his Lusiad. - WEBBER, J.
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Title : View in Macao, including the residence of camoens, when he wrote his Lusiad..
Map maker : WEBBER, J..
Date : London, Boydell and Co., 1808.
Size : 11.0 x 16.1 inches. / 28.0 x 41.0 cm.
Colouring : In original colours.

Description :One of two views of Macao, taken from "Views in the South Seas" being a very important and early views depicting scenes encountered while employed as draughtsman on Cook's third voyage, which has been called "the most striking publication resulting from Cook's expeditions". (Parsons Collection 136).
Underneath the title : London. Pubd. April 1, 1809 by Boydell & Compy. No. 90 Cheapside. In lower left corner "J. Webber fecit 1788" and "Vide Cooks last Voyage Vol. 3 Chap XI." to the lower right. In upper right : Plate 12

Webber was more fully trained than any of the artists of the previous voyages, and he and Cook worked closely together to illuminate "the unavoidable imperfections of written accounts, by enabling us to preserve, and to bring home, such drawings of the most memorable scenes of our transactions, as could only be expected by a professed and skilled artist." (J. Cook & J. King, Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, London 1784, Vol I, p.5). Because he was there with Cook in the field, his paintings "constituted a new visual source for the study of history..." (Smith, Bernard, Art as Information. Sydney, 1978).
Cook's ships were the first Western contact with the natives of Nootka Sound and the furs they traded with them were sold at a vast profit in Macao in the following year, 1779. Soon American and English ships were making annual trips to the Northwest Coast in search of "Sea Beaver" pelts. Webber published only 16 views in his book - having two views of Macao was a tribute to the port's importance on the voyage.

On his return Webber was appointed by the Admiralty to supervise the production of engravings that were made from his originals to illustrate the official account of 1784, these 12 plates were first published separately by Webber between August 1788 and August 1792, and Boydell first reissued the plates in their present form, with an additional four plates and with descriptive text in 1808, fifteen years after Webber's death. Copies with varying watermark dates are known, but Abbey does not distinguish them as separate editions, nor do other bibliographers: "The title page is dated 1808 in all copies, but the plate imprints are dated April, 1809, and the water mark dates vary widely copy by copy, apparently a feature peculiar to Boydell's color plate books" (Hill).

More prints by Webber.
For a discussion of the various editions of Webber's Views in the South Seas (1786-1820) see R. Joppien and B. Smith, The Art of Captain Cook's Voyages, New Haven and London, III, Text, pp.192-96
Abbey "Travel" 595. Tooley 501. Hill p.611. Mitchell Library "Cook" 1872., Holmes79.


Condition : Contemp. handcoloured aquatint, published by Boydell (and successor), London, 1808[-20], no water mark. Paper very slightly age-toned.
Together with a text page.


ID: 30049

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