After Ambroise Louis Garneray (1783-1857)
Title: View of New York Taken from Weehawken, New Jersey
New York & Paris, c. 1834
Size: 15 1/4 x 18 1/2 inches visible; 27 x 31 inches framed.
The composition is flanked on the left by a large tree whose delicately rendered leaves, along with the wispy pink-silver clouds in the sky, imbue the scene with a sense of grace and idyll. In the foreground, we see lively figures in period dress picnicking on the heights before the splendid river and bustling harbor. Other leisurely figures can be seen strolling or sitting and admiring the view of the port. Beyond the river, church spires rise up over the other buildings of the city, and are rivaled only by the dome of the Merchants’ Exchange on the southern tip of the city for dominance of the skyline.
The land of New York was discovered in 1524, and colonized by the Dutch in 1624, when it was named New Amsterdam and became a trading port of the Dutch West India Company. In 1664 this Dutch colony was surrendered to British forces and was renamed New York after James Duke of York (1633-1701), who had been granted the land by his brother King Charles II. Within fifteen years of this present view, New York would become one of the most important cities in the new nation. Today it is a vibrant and diverse beacon of culture, finance, and education for the world.