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Botofogo Bay, Rio Janeiro



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A shoreline land/seascape, with buildings, vegetation, small boats and human figures.


Drawing. Mentioned Narrative Vol 3. P 32 / 29--

The left foreground--midground shows a bay with a canoe lying in calm water. The canoe faces left, the rowlocks and the mooring rope attached to the prow being visible, as is the back of a seat towards the stern. The shoreline, littered above the high-water mark with small flat rocks, recedes from the right foreground towards a substantial two-storey house with other smaller single-storey buildings to its left and right in the midground. At the same distance from the viewer, three figures stand at the water's edge. Five other well-detached buildings occupy the shoreline as it recedes to the left-hand edge of the picture, with leafy trees growing in the centre midground behind the buildings. The building at the left-hand edge is single-storey and has four windows visible. The building some distance to its right is similar, though the curve of the shore allows sight of its shorter side aspect, which shows two windows; what may be a small footbridge connects it to a small outhouse. Close to its right, the third building has a single-storey extension with two windows on the left of the main structure, which is three-storey with two windows each on the upper two storeys facing the beach, the ground floor and the side of the house being blank. Further to its right in the centre of the picture, the front of a further apparently three-storey building shows through the trees, with a central doorway on the ground floor and an indication of window openings on the upper floors. To its right, behind the figures at the water's edge, stands a small single-storey building with a door and three windows facing the beach. The main complex of much closer buildings from the centre right to the right-hand edge of the picture consists of three small single-storey structures, each having a couple of windows overlooking the beach, connected by a short stretch of wall or fencing to the left of the main building, which in turn is connected by a longer wall or fence to its right to a further pair of single-storey structures, the left-hand member of which appears to have French windows leading onto the beach, and the right-hand member of which shows three tall windows or doorways. The main building is a tall two-storey structure with a tiled roof with a small dormer window on the side aspect, and little pinnacles on the two front corners above the front facade. The upper storey has some seven windows, with the ground floor having two windows on each side of the central doorway, which leads out onto the beach. In the background, a hillock rises behind the second building from the left, with two more substantial peaks visible further behind, near the left-hand edge of the picture, and in the centre left. In the centre of the picture, in front of the second of these peaks, a contour-line rises sharply from a low hillock to the ridge of a substantial hill on the right of the picture, behind which a more jagged peak is visible. In the region of this peak, the sky contains a vague indication of clouds; the sun is shining from behind and to the right of Martens' vantage point. The surfaces of the hillocks and smaller hills are covered with low shrubby vegetation.


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