Immigrating from Scotland in 1791, Robertson set up practice in New York City as a miniaturist. In addition, he also made numerous landscapes and city views. Together with William and Thomas Birch, who worked in Philadelphia, he helped to introduce the English topographical watercolor tradition in the United States. This view across the East River to Manhattan, depicting an expansive landscape, stems from that tradition. The building at the right is George Washington's headquarters. The location is identified in an inscription across the bottom of the sheet.
Presidents--Homes and haunts; Manhattan (New York, N.Y.); Washington, George, 1732-1799
1 watercolor ; 17 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (43.9 x 62.2 cm)
Watercolor on paper
Written lower right in ink: drawn (?) by Archibald Robertson / my father / Andrew J. Robertson; Inscribed along bottom margin in pencil: Original drawing by Archibald Robertson (Washington's Head Quarters in foreground); the watermark on the paper is 1794; lower center: New York from Long Island