This engraving shows a view from Southwark, looking across the River Thames towards Westminster and the City of London. It was the first panoramic view of London of the mid-Tudor period and was made by the topographical draughtsman Antonis van den Wyngaerde. It has been suggested that the panorama might have been commissioned by King Henry VIII.
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, holds a collection of views of English cities by the draughtsman Wyngaerde, as well as the 14 drawings which, when pieced together, form this London panorama. These studies are now thought to have been made in 1544, despite this engraved version being inscribed ‘London, Westminster and Southwark as they appeared in 1543’. They are annotated by the artist with colour notes in Flemish, for example ‘blau’ (blue), ‘wit ston’ (white stone) and ‘groen velt’ (green grass). This would suggest that Wyngaerde intended to produce a colour drawing from his sketches.
In this printed version, the key below the image lists the main buildings featured in the panorama, including some which no longer survive.
Other examples of this print are in the collections of the Guildhall Library and the British Library.
Nathaniel Whittock was a draughtsman, lithographer and aquatint engraver, who produced mainly landscape views after his own designs or works by contemporary artists. Whittock also made etched bookplates early in his career and later published books on drawing, including ‘The Art of Drawing and Colouring from Nature, Flowers, Fruits and Shells’ (1829). He worked in both London and Oxford and described himself as a ‘Teacher of Drawing and Perspective and Lithographist to the University of Oxford’.
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