A View of St Paul’s and Blackfriars Bridge

William Marlow (1740 - 1813)

Oil on canvas

c.1775-1776
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street

    This is an early view of the very first Blackfriars Bridge, seen from the south side of the Thames, looking east. The bridge was built between 1760 and 1769, and was consequently still a novelty when William Marlow painted this picture, about six or seven years after its completion. The bridge’s proximity to Sir Christopher Wren’s monumental St Paul’s Cathedral, which for over three centuries dominated the London skyline, made it a popular subject for artists.

    Marlow repeated his most popular painted views numerous times, generally with slight alterations on each occasion. At least five of his paintings included Blackfriars Bridge.

  • About the artist
    Landscapist William Marlow was born in London or Southwark. He trained in the studio of marine painter Samuel Scott in Covent Garden (1756-61) and is also thought to have studied at the St Martin’s Lane Academy. Marlow spent his early career travelling around England in search of subjects; painting English country houses and the areas around Twickenham, Richmond, and the lower banks of the Thames. On the advice of the Duchess of Northumberland he travelled to France and Italy (1765-66). He exhibited at the Society of Artists, becoming Vice-President in 1778, and at the Royal Academy. Marlow lived for a time in Leicester Fields (now Leicester Square). His one pupil was John Curtis. In c.1785 he retired to Twickenham, where he died aged 72.
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  • Details
    Title
    A View of St Paul’s and Blackfriars Bridge
    Date
    c.1775-1776
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 72.00 cm, width: 91.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Agnew's, May 1980
    Inscription
    sbr
    Provenance
    Collection of politician and collector Anthony Morris Storer (1746-1799) of Purley Park, Berkshire; by descent to Ivy Evans (née Storer; wife of Major Archibald Evans) of Chacombe House Lodge, Northamptonshire; collection of the Storer Trust; by whom sold (by order of Mrs I. Evans and the Trustees) through Sotheby's, London, 'English Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Drawings and Paintings' sale, on 9 December 1964 (Lot 176), for £2000; from which sale purchased by Agnew's Gallery, London; collection of James Blewitt; with Agnew’s Gallery, London; from whom purchased by the Government Picture Collection in May 1980
    GAC number
    15028