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Description

Beautifully hand-colored view of Brooklyn across the East River, as seen from Trinity Church on Wall Street in 1853.

The view preserves mid-19th-century Brooklyn in magnificent detail. The view centers on the village, with many church spires rising above the city. In the furthest left, Williamsburg can be seen, and Brooklyn Heights rise above the oldest part of the town. Closer to the forefront, tall ships and early steamships navigate the East River. Many of these fly American Flags, and the Wall Street Ferry building stands out in the foreground.

The 1850s were a time of change for Brooklyn, following the rapid growth of New York in general. The skyline would change dramatically with the development of the Greenpoint Historic District, which would be in the center left of the map. Between 1850 and 1860, the population would grow from 140,000 to 270,000, further changing the skyline from a small, separate city to an integral part of New York.

This lithographed view was based on a design by J. W. Hill, a British-born American artist who was a prolific painter of New York views. Having been trained in aquatinting at his father's engraving shop at a young age, he collaborated with several print-makers to turn his views into now-rare prints. Most of these views date from the early 1850s and constitute some of the finest available views of New York and other American cities.

G. W. Smith published this view.

Condition Description
Hand-colored lithograph on wove paper. Few expert repairs to the edges.
Reference
Reps 2453 (noting copies at NY-P, LIHS-B, MM-NN)