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.
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.
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
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.