Sketches in the Canadas
Smyth's sketches in the Canadas

Author: Smyth, Coke, 1808-1882 (artist)
McLean, T. (Thomas) (publisher)
Responsibility: by Coke Smyth
Place: London
Publisher: Published by Thos. McLean, 26, Haymarket
Date Published: [1840?]
Description: 23 art prints, [2] p. : lithographs, b&w ; 55 cm x 37 cm. (volume)
Provenance: York Gate Library
Call Number: held
Online Resource: Open web link
Subject: Smyth, Coke, 1808-1882
Lithography, British--19th century
Ursulines de Québec--Pictorial works
Indians of North America--Canada--Pictorial works
Artists--Travel--Canada--Pictorial works
Canada--Pictorial works
Canada--History--19th century--Pictorial works
Montréal (Québec)--Pictorial works
Montréal (Québec)-History--19th century--Pictorial works
Biography: The artist Coke Smyth, as he signed his works (John Richard Coke Smyth, 1808-1882), travelled widely and published the sketches of his travels as lithographs. His on-the-spot sketches of a visit to Constantinople in 1835-6 appeared in "Illustrations of Constantinople made in the Years 1835-6" (London, 1837. His 1838 visit to Canada as drawing master to the daughters of the Governor, Lord Durham, produced the 23 lithographic views of "Sketches in the Canadas" (London, c.1840). Back in England he specialised in costume studies: his studies of Queen Victoria's masked ball illustrated the commemorative volume, "Souvenir of the Bal Costumé" (London, 1843). He showed at the Royal Academy from 1842 to 1855 and at the British Institution and Society of British Artists up to 1867. He also painted portraits of his family and did some fine architectural drawings. One of the last books he illustrated was Henry Beveridge's "A Comprehensive History of India"(3 v., London, 1871).
Notes: Cover title: Smyth's sketches in the Canadas. Title page vignette. Dedicated to the Rt. Hon., the Earl of Durham. The bound volume consists of the lithographs (23 including the title page), plus 2 pages (1 leaf) containing the dedication and on its verso the "List of Drawings". Catalogue of the York Gate Library, 2nd ed., 1886 (5711) describes the work as "18 Lithographs from Drawings by Coke Smyth. Folio. Lond. [1840]."
Summary: A rare work recording Smyth's impressions of Canada, executed during the tenure of Lord Durham as Governor General. The plates are from original sketches made by Smyth whilst in the employ of the Earl of Durham as drawing master to his daughters during 1838. They "offer a view of Canada during a very difficult period ...: suppression of a rebellion was the reason the Earl was in Canada, and shortly after he returned to England an insurrection broke out again. The work includes a wide variety of subjects: topographical views (Niagara Falls, Falls of Montmorency, American Fort, Niagara River), genre scenes (Moos [sic.] Hunter, Indians bartering, Buffalo Hunting), town views (Montreal, entrance to Toronto, Quebec from the Chateau), and also historical reportage (Attack and Defense of Rebels at Dickinson Landing, Engagement in the Thousand Islands)." Of the three possible issues of the work (Abbey Travel II, 625) this is the uncoloured version. --Donald A. Heald, Rare Books, Prints & Maps
Cited: Abbey Travel II, 625 York Gate Library, 5711 Gagnon I:3341 Lande 2215 Sabin 85203 Spendlove p.42 Tooley 460 TPL 2549