Edouard-Charles Victurnien Colbert (1758 - 1820 )
Also known as the Comte de Maulevrier, Edouard-Charles Victurnien Colbert was a titled French naval officer who visited the United States in the 1790s. Although he spent a good deal of time in Philadelphia, he also traveled throughout much of Pennsylvania and New York and up to Quebec.
Like several other wealthy visitors from abroad, Colbert published a record of his experiences in America. Titled Voyages dans l’Interieur des Etats-Unis au Canada, the book was republished in 1935 by Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
One of Colbert’s watercolors, Trenton-sur-la-Delaware, is owned by the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark. Painted in 1798, it depicts several large houses in Trenton on cliffs overlooking the Delaware River. It is essentially a topographical view – a truthful view of the scene – painted by an amateur artist. The addition of a large tree in the center adds a picturesque touch, and a small figure standing under it provides a focal point and a sense of scale.
Colbert returned to France in 1799, when events following the French Revolution quieted down enough for him to return safely.
Matthew Baigell, 19th-Century Painters of the Delaware Valley (Exhibition catalogue, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, 1983), p.57.
Written and submitted by Kate Nearpass Ogden, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.