Collections › MESDA Collection › Junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah, Virginia.

Junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah, Virginia.

Jeakes, Joseph __Engraver ||Roberts, William __After
Place Made:
London Great Britain
Date Made:
ink on paper
HOA: 15 1/4; WOA: 19 3/4
Accession Number:
In 1803 and 1804 William Roberts traveled to Harpers Ferry, Virginia, to see the Junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, considered one of the most picturesque sites in the United States. Following his return to England, Roberts prepared his sketches of this view for Joseph Jeakes who produced this aquatint of the scene.

SCENE: The arsenal which was captured by John Brown and his abolitionist followers during his raid on Harper’s Ferry is visible in the foreground. This arsenal was a popular subject among nineteenth-century landscape painters working in western Virginia and Maryland.

RELATED WORKS: A sketch (MESDA acc. 3424.1), a final watercolor after this sketch (MESDA acc. No. 3424.2); aquatint etched after the watercolor (MESDA Acc. No. 3424.3).

DESCRIPTION: Aquatint on paper, landscape scene of rivers meeting with hills on both sides, one river being further away in the distance. Clouds sit in the blue sky. Long, rectangular buildings (one of which is the arsenal) sit below the hills and in front of the river, and houses are visible to the left. Human figures walk or ride horses around the area of the arsenal building. A ferry boat is sailing in the middle of the river to the left, and another ferry boat sails below the rectangular buildings from the right. Upon the boats are human figures, and other human figures are on both sides of the river banks. Smaller boats appear in the background.

Descended in the family of the artist, William Roberts, to his daughter Grace (Roberts) Burton, to her son Sir Charles Burton.
Credit Line:
Gift of G. Wilson Douglas, Jr. and Douglas Battery Fund