Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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View from the Packet Wharf at Frenchtown Looking down Elk Creek

Artist:
Benjamin Henry Latrobe (American (born England), Fulneck, Yorkshire 1764–1820 New Orleans, Louisiana)
Date:
1806
Medium:
Watercolor, pen and iron gall ink, and graphite on off-white wove paper
Dimensions:
8 1/2 x 12 in. (21.6 x 30.5 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Morris K. Jesup Fund, 1993
Accession Number:
1993.281
Not on view
For most of his distinguished career as an architect, Latrobe, the designer of the original U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., kept an illustrated journal of his travels throughout the country. The journal, along with most of his watercolor drawings, is now in the Maryland Historical Society. This drawing depicts the confluence of Elk and Pates’s Creeks in northern Maryland, then a point of commercial and passenger exchange on the journey from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. For the most part, the lip service that the artist pays here to picturesque composition, manifested principally in the calligraphic tree in the foreground, yields to the artist’s curiosity about the landscape’s utilitarian, agricultural, and commercial functions.
Signature: [at lower right in ink]: BHenry Latrobe Augt. 2d. 1806.

Inscription: [along bottom in ink]: View from the Packet Wharf at Frenchtown looking down Elk Creek, showing the Mouth of Pates' Creek.
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