Annapolis Heritage Society | Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

The Painted Room Interpretive Tour

The Topographical Tradition

Topographical art can be defined as realistic and detailed depictions of an area. In many ways, this form of art was part of the ‘Romantic Movement’ during which young gentlemen of the 18th and 19th centuries would find pleasure in capturing on paper the natural and exotic scenery found in their travels.

Many of these topographical artists were indeed landscape painters, others were military engineers such as John Henry Bastide (c.1700 – 1770 ) chief engineer at Annapolis Royal responsible for its fortification, 1740 to 1750. Certainly, his image of Annapolis influenced British landscape painter Samuel Scott (1702 – 1772) who travelled to North America with a British squadron prior to the outbreak of the Seven Years War 1756 – 63. Scott’s version accentuates the vessels and the details of the shoreline.