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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
After George Heap
(British, active United States; eighteenth century)
East Prospect of the City of Philadelphia1761
Engraving on paper, 6 3/8 x 19 1/8 inches
RS 6237


Responding to Thomas Penn’s request for a perspective view of Philadelphia from the east, the artist George Heap (dates unknown) made a detailed topographical drawing of the city’s waterfront from the New Jersey shore in 1752. He worked under the direction of Nicholas Scull, Surveyor General of the Province of Pennsylvania. Penn acquired the drawing and had two engravings made from it, a large one in 1754 and a smaller version in 1756; the latter had views of the State House and the Battery, and a city plan added to it.

This engraving is a copy of the 1756 version of Heap’s view that was published in the London Magazine in October 1761, with representations of the State House and Battery inserted in the upper left and right corners. This was the first view ever published of Philadelphia. This example is in excellent condition, with archival backing paper added to strengthen the old creases made when the view was inserted into the magazine. It is accompanied by the original pages 575 and 576 of the London Magazine that provides a general description Philadelphia and identifies the buildings numbered in the engraving.


  


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