Westminster II

William Coldstream (1908 - 1987)

Oil on canvas


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© Courtesy of the artist's estate/Bridgeman Art Library

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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection
    Painted on a cloudy, grey day, this aerial view of Westminster clearly shows the jam-packed nature of streets and buildings in central London. From 1873 to 1983, William Coldstream painted a series of ten small pictures of Westminster from Room 1702 at the Department of Environment, Marsham Street, a room that was used for meetings of the Committee of the Government Art Collection, of which Coldstream was a long-standing member. From here, on the sixteenth floor, he gained a panoramic view of London. All the pictures were painted from the same room, between 9.30 or 10am until 12.30pm on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There were no preliminary drawings.

    This painting is the second of the Westminster series, which he painted between 20 July and 1 December 1974. 
  • About the artist
    Sir William Coldstream was born in Northumberland and attended the Slade School of Art from 1926-1929. In 1937 he co-founded the Euston Road School of painting with Claude Rogers and Victor Pasmore to paint ‘socially relevant’ subjects in a realist manner. He became Slade Professor of Fine Art in 1949 and, as a key art world official, he was appointed a trustee of the National Gallery in 1948 and of the Tate in 1949. He was awarded the CBE in 1952 and knighted in 1956. He worked very slowly, often only producing a few large paintings a year. As a result, his work was rarely shown in large solo exhibitions and his 1962 retrospective was his first one-person exhibition. Coldstream’s work is held in numerous public collections.
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  • Details
    Westminster II
    Oil on canvas
    height: 63.50 cm, width: 76.00 cm
    Purchased from Anthony d'Offay, February 1977
    GAC number