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Painter-Topographers

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Painter-Topographers

Towards the end of the 18th century and turn of the 19th century, England saw a rise in the number of professional and amateur watercolorists devoted to topographical studies. The goal of the painter-topographers was to reproduce, through drawings, watercolors, or engravings, places and scenes easily recognized by people who look at them.

Topographical studies distinguish themselves from landscapes as they recreate on canvas or paper reliefs and details faithful to reality. At the time, topography was taught to many soldiers at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, some of whom were dispatched to either Lower or Upper Canada to hold specific posts.

It was during their stays that they painted strategic spots to establish a portrait of the British possessions. So doing, they also sketched in a picturesque way the customs of the inhabitants of the British colonies and contributed to creating Landscape Art in Canada.

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