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View, New York City, Federal Period, Antique Watercolor, 1793


Maria Templeton
New York View
New York: 1793
Watercolor on paper
11.5 inch diameter image
14 x 18 inches overall
Signed lower left: Maria Templeton
Titled and dated lower right: New York, December 21, 1793

Circular New York landscape image in the neoclassical style of a stone bridge over a stream. A young tree grows on the bank in the center of the composition, and a pathway leads across a lawn to a building in the distance. Dark foliage frames the left side. Based on the inscription in the lower right, it was apparently executed onsite in New York.

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Sketching and watercolor painting were popular pastimes for educated young ladies in the new federal republic. Given the date and place given on the inscription, the artist may very well be the same Maria Templeton referred to in a geneaological study of the Templeton family — the daughter of Oliver Templeton and Catherine Brownjohn (see Lawson). In 1809, Maria married an attorney named William Johnson (1769-1848) who resided in New York City and was the author of several legal treatises. Oliver Templeton was a New York City merchant and auctioneer who served in the British Loyalist forces as a captain during the American Revolution. In 1786, he wrote to the British government asking for financial assistance because punitive laws passed after the Revolution targeting Loyalists made it impossible for him to get a business license or recover his debts. In the letter, he claimed that before the Revolution he was earning 1000 pounds a year, the equivalent of about $116,000 in today’s money.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, soft creases. Few harder creases, but not obtrusive. Some toning and staining of white margins, and some chipping to outer borders, can be matted out.


“Claims and Memorials: Memorial of Oliver Templeton of New York.” Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 80, folios 489-491. Online at The Online Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies. 1 September 2000. (23 January 2003).

Lawson, Stephen M. “Seventh Generation (continued): 390. William Johnson.” (23 January 2003).

Additional information


18th Century