Cruxbay (St. Jan).
[Copenhagen]: Em. Baerentzen & Co. lith Inst., Lithographer: A. Nay; artist: F.G. Melby. ca. 1856. Image area: 9 3/8 x 11 1/8.” Sheet size: 12 x 16 ½.”. Hand-colored lithograph. Some foxing. Minor soiling at lower right blank margin. Slight edge wear. Item #3691
This lovely, lush view of Cruz Bay on St. John in the then-Danish Virgin Islands focuses on a substantial building set on a hill above the harbor. The building may be a manor house. Or possibly this is Lind Point Fort that was constructed by the British in 1807 to control access to Cruz Bay during their occupation of the Danish West Indies. A two-masted schooner is shown under sail just to the left of the two palm trees, and several figures are engaged in daily activities throughout the view.
Baerentzen (1799-1869) was a prominent Copenhagen portraitist who turned his attention and talents to lithography in 1837. He published a series of six views of the Danish Virgin Islands (two of St. Thomas, two of St. Croix and two of St. John) in 1856 as part of Danmark, a 31-plate compilation of scenes and landscapes of Denmark and its colonies. The six Virgin Islands views, including the currently offered view, are among the earliest available views of the islands.
Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America: 4096. [ICN 7640.1].