This view of Horse Guards Parade, seen from the south west, includes the old red brick Admiralty in the distance and the newly completed Horse Guards building in the centre of the composition.
In 1950, the Ministry of Works bid unsuccessfully on a painting at Sotheby’s, which was listed as Samuel Scott, ‘A View of the Horse Guards Parade’. However, in 1993 this work by the same artist, from the collection of former Prime Minster (James) Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937), was presented to the Government Art Collection by MacDonald’s daughter and son-in-law. Further views of Horse Guard’s Parade attributed to Scott were exhibited at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1920 and sold through Sotheby’s in 1968.
Samuel Scott, marine and topographical painter, was born in London in c.1702. His early subjects were marine scenes and naval engagements, painted in the style of the van de Veldes. However, following Antonio Canaletto's visit to the capital in 1746, Scott was influenced by the growing popularity of the Venetian artist's views of London and the Thames and devoted himself almost exclusively to this subject. Scott's London views became particularly popular. Unlike other imitators of Canaletto, he avoided the Venetian artist's permanent Venetian blue skies. He settled in the fashionable writers' and artists' village of Twickenham but later moved to Bath, where he died.
Presented by Sheila and Andrew Lochhead, November 1993
Collection of Miss Katherine Wilson of Knaresborough; sold through Christie's, London; collection of J. Ramsay MacDonald; by descent to his daughter Sheila Lochead; presented to the Government Art Collection by Sheila and Andrew Lochhead in November 1993
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