Views of the American War of Independence was first printed by Zuber in 1852. This paper illustrates the American Revolution in four scenes using the background imagery from an earlier scenic wallpaper called Views of North America first printed by Zuber in 1834. All of the scenes for North America were modifications of original drawings by naturalist painter J. Milbert in 1828, whose drawings illustrate the new practice of showing realistic renderings of landscapes rather than one composed in a studio. Views of North America was composed of four scenes: the bay of New York, West Point, the Port of Boston, and the Natural Bridge of Virginia and Niagara Falls.
The four scenes shown in the Views of the American War of Independence include the capture of a British stronghold on Weehawk Hill by American forces, printed over the Bay of New York scene; the surrender of British General Cornwallis at Yorktown, printed on the scene of West Point; the triumphal entry of General Washington into Boston, printed over the Port of Boston imagery; and two battle episodes printed over the scenes for the Natural Bridge and Niagara Falls.
Wood blocks were expensive and labor intensive to produce, especially when you’re talking the thousands necessary to print a scenic paper. So to introduce a new scenic without the cost and labor necessary to carve all new blocks, this design reuses the background landscapes from Views of North America, but changes the foreground to show scenes of the Revolution. In this scene showing Washington’s arrival in Boston, Washington’s entourage replacing a bustling harbor scene. And the ships are now flying American flags, as is the State House. The American Revolution scenic, with the new foreground imagery, is printed in 360 colors and requires an extra 600 woodblocks to print, for a total of 2300 blocks.

One thought on “Views of the American War of Independence

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *