Immigrating from Scotland in 1791, Robertson set up practice in New York
City as a miniaturist. In addition, he also made numerous landscapes and city
views. Together with William and Thomas Birch, who worked in Philadelphia, he
helped to introduce the English topographical watercolor tradition in the United
States. This view across the East River to Manhattan, depicting an expansive
landscape, stems from that tradition. The building at the right is George
Washington's headquarters. The location is identified in an inscription across
the bottom of the sheet.