William Eagar (1796-1839) was born in County Cork, Ireland. He immigrated to Newfoundland where he had a studio and lived as a painter for over ten years. In 1834, he moved to Halifax, where he continued his craft. Eagar set up a drawing academy where he taught landscape painting and watercolour techniques. As part of a plan to produce a series of views of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Upper Canada, Eagar began with three engravings of Nova Scotia scenes. Shortly after, he announced a second volume of scenes of New Brunswick. During the same time period, Robert Petley, a British officer, had also produced a series of lithographs of Nova Scotia, published in London, England that went on sale for half the price of Eagar’s engravings. Two years later, Eagar travelled to Boston and arranged for the printing of another set of views, primarily of Halifax landmarks. They were published in four parts; each part containing three prints and sold at prices comparable to Petley’s works. Unfortunately, Eagar died of pneumonia before the last two parts were published. Along with Petley, William Eagar is credited with introducing lithography to Nova Scotia.
Additional information found on Archives Canada Website and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers website.
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