[Copenhagen]: Em. Baerentzen & Co. lith Inst., Lithographer: A. Nay; artist: F.G. Melby. ca. 1856. Image area: 8 x 11.” Sheet size: 12 x 16 ½.”. Hand-colored lithograph. Minor foxing; a bit of edge wear. Item #3692
This beautifully colored view of St. John in the then-Danish Virgin Islands features two island residents cooking al fresco at the center foreground. In the mid-distance is substantial dwelling on a hilltop. Further in the distance are the forms of neighboring islands, likely St. Thomas or Tortola.
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.