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Plan von Fort Cumberland auf der insel St. Laurenti
circa 1760. Gouache, painted on fine watermarked laid paper, in excellent condition. 19 7/8 x 28 1/8 inches. A rare fictional manuscript plan of Fort Cumberland in Canada. This fascinating manuscript map purports to depict the English Fort Cumberland on the island of St. Lawrence. Closer research has uncovered that there was no Fort Cumberland on a St. Lawrence island. It is possible that the artist is referring to Fort Cumberland, located on the Bay of Fundy in Canada, which is near the St. Lawrence River. Originally named Fort Beausejour, the fort was erected by the French in 1751. It was captured by the British in 1755 and renamed Fort Cumberland. The fort was located on the coast rather than an island and was used to command the territory between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The location as well as the complicated layout of the ramparts suggests that this representation is fictional rather than illustrative. The buildings, which are all identified in a numbered key, resemble medieval architecture rather than eighteenth century design, signifying that this fine painting is a product of the artist's romantic vision rather than a depiction of an actual place. Accounts of the exploration of North America and Canada circulated throughout Britain and the Continent, and it is most likely that this magnificent painted plan was based on these texts. Although fictional, this is a fascinating glimpse of eighteenth century cartography, which often relied more on written accounts and hypothetical theories than actual geographic surveys.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    

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