Drawing “on the spot,” the first visions of the American landscape were by trained artists. In the 18th century, military officers – especially engineers and artillerists – were expected to have mastered several arts practiced by civilians; notably drawing and penmanship.
Following the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian War in America, where it lasted for eight years), draftsman and watercolorist Thomas Sandby was engaged to teach topographical drawing and painting to cadets at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. The high command believed that apart from drawing being a necessary skill, artistic training would make keener observers of military officers in many situations, including on the battlefield. [Read more…] about 18th Century Military Topographical Drawing Workshops