Joshua Bryant

Joshua Bryant
From Bryant’s “Account of an insurrection of the negro slaves in the colony of Demerara, which broke out on the 18th of August, 1823”. © John Carter Brown Library.

BRYANT, Joshua (fl.1798-1831) — Demerara

Artist, etcher, engraver and illustrator. Engraved Part of the colony of Demerara from Mahaica Creek on the east coast and a further composite map for his own “Account of an insurrection of the negro slaves in the colony of Demerara” 1824; Map of the River Demerara 1831. Also produced his own “An entire new drawing book”, with “Progressive lessons in landscape” and “Bryant’s treatise on the use of Indian ink and colours” for Rudolph Ackermann 1807-1808.

Bryant gave his age as forty-seven when he joined the masonic Mount Olive Lodge in Demerara 14 Sep 1829. He was therefore born in about 1782 and is most probably to be identified with the Joshua Bryant, son of the late John Bryant, of Chardstock, Dorset, who was apprenticed (Stationers) to the Oxford Street bookseller Richard Ryan on 7 Nov 1797. A younger brother, Aaron Bryant, joined him in 1799. Bryant was living and working in London 1798-1802, in Wales in 1802, in Paris in 1803, and is found in London again in 1807-1809 before migrating to Guyana. He exhibited landscapes at the Royal Academy and the British Institution 1798-1809. In 1811 he exhibited a panorama at Vlissingen displaying Stabroek viewed from the Union Coffee House. The opening delayed by the impact of the climate on his paints, the panorama was open Monday to Saturday, with “Wednesdays and Saturdays appropriated for the admission of free people of colour”. He advertised that he “undertakes to paint portraits in oil colours, as likewise views of estates; and having studied much, while at Paris, that department of painting which relates to the decoration of buildings, he trusts he shall give satisfaction to those who might employ him in ornamenting their houses. — He likewise professes teaching the different branches of drawing and painting, in which he has had much practice while in Europe”. He published his account of the 1823 insurrection in 1824, illustrated with scenes of the suppression and maps.

351 Oxford Street, London — 1798-1806
101 Strand, London — 1807
353 Oxford Street, London — 1809
Demerara — 1809-1831

Adams. Alexander. BBTI. BM. BNA. Grant. Graves (1901) (1905). Houfe. McKenzie.

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