Eliza Gwillim
  • Moonlit Coastal View
Pen and grey ink, grey wash
on an eighteenth-century washline mount
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “Eliza Gwillim Invt / 1783”
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Owner (image)


In the collection of Miss Elizabeth Crabbe (d. ca. 1970), whose family gave it after her death to a friend, in whose collection it remained in 2006. That owner believed that Miss Crabbe, who was descended from employees of General John Graves Simcoe (1752–1806), acquired the drawing at a sale of Simcoe property early in the twentieth century.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 1970
Miss Elizabeth Crabbe ( - 1970)
Mary Lu MacDonald, 'Simcoe, Elizabeth Postuma (1762-1850)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004


This is a drawing by Elizabeth Postuma Simcoe (1762–1850, née Gwillim). Although signed with her maiden name, this drawing was apparently made after the artist’s marriage in December 1782 to John Graves Simcoe (1752–1806), a senior colonial administrator as Governor of Upper Canada between 1791 and 1796.1 The buildings are typical of those seen in imaginary Italianate compositions by Towne and his pupils, but the artist’s use of the word “Invt” indicates that it was her own design. Whether or not this drawing depicts an actual place, it has the character of a Neapolitan coast.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 See Houlding 2004 and Macdonald 2004.

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