In this etching the American scenery is presented as picturesque. In the foreground, early pioneering is represented by a cluster of tepees, a log cabin, a water-powered sawmill and figures stripping trunks of their branches, cutting them into planks and stacking and loading them into boats. The completed farm, with a framed house, outbuildings and cleared fields, appears surrounded by pleasure gardens as part of a rolling estate at right in the background. Both sides are connected by the river, which alludes to trade and its associated prosperity. This celebration of the transformation of forests into farmland provides an idealised model of social and economic relations in a colonial setting also developed in Pownall’s writings on the ‘civilising spirit’ of the American farmer.
- Full title:
- Eight views in North America and the West Indies / A design to represent the beginning and completion of an American settlement or farm
- 1761, London
- Etching / View
- Paul Sandby, Thomas Pownall
- © Trustees of the British Museum
- Usage terms
- Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike licence
- Held by
- The British Museum
- British Museum: 1873,0809.374
- Article by:
- Brett Culbert
- Military and maritime
Brett Culbert discusses Thomas Pownall’s observations of the changing landscapes of the New World from his visit from 1753–60.