View near Blackfriers [sic] Bridge
Aquatint20 February 1777
About the work
This 18th-century aquatint print shows a view on the River Thames. It includes Blackfriars Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral beyond, viewed through a ‘feigned’ oval.
Thames views were a popular subject with artist William Marlow and the Government Art Collection also includes an oil painting by the artist of the ‘View of Blackfriars Bridge’ (see GAC 15028).
This work (a pair with GAC 1218) was engraved from a painting then ‘in the Possession of David Garrick’. The painted versions which belonged to actor and playwright David Garrick (1717-1779) are probably the pair of paintings now in the collection of the City of London Corporation.
About the artist
Valentine Green, engraver of portraits and historical subjects after works by his contemporaries, was born at Salford, Worcestershire. He was intended for a career at the Bar, but without his father’s consent, became apprenticed to an obscure line engraver in Worcester. When he came to London in 1765 he began working in mezzotint and engraved nearly 400 plates over the next 40 years. In 1775 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy and was appointed Mezzotint Engraver to George III. In 1789 he obtained the exclusive privilege of engraving the pictures of the Dusseldorf, but was ruined when the city was besieged in 1798. In 1805 he was made Keeper of the newly founded British Institution, a post he retained until his death.