"[A Site for the Fort Is Chosen] Wie die Franzosen ein Gelegen Ort / eine Festung zu Bauwen / Erwehlet", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Fort Caroline, Florida
Period: 1591 (circa)
Publication: Grands Voyages, Part II
Color: Black & White
8.3 x 6 inches
21.1 x 15.2 cm
This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.
This engraving is from a German edition of Part II of de Bry's Grands Voyages (Brevis Narratio Eorum quae in Florida Americae Provincia Gallis Acciderunt). It depicts the French hard at work as they construct Fort Caroline on the River May, near present-day Jacksonville. The French colony was established on June 22, 1564, under the leadership of Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere. It was destroyed by Spanish troops in September of the following year. On a sheet of German text measuring 9.3 x 13.1".
On a faintly toned sheet with a fleur-de-lis watermark. There is light soiling and some small chips and tears well outside the engraved image.