Blackfriars, from Southwark Bridge
About the work
Place: Competition Appeals Tribunal, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square
This view of ‘Blackfriars from Southwark Bridge’ by Thomas Shotter Boys was published in 1842 as part of ‘Original Views of London As It Is’, his most successful volume. The volume included ‘Historical and Descriptive Notices of the Views’, written by the publisher, writer and editor Charles Ollier (1788-1859). Ollier’s text on this image begins:
‘How striking a combination is here presented of smoky manufacturies, wharfs, barges laden with merchandise, bridges (for more than one is seen), proud structures, church steeples, and, towering above all in colossal grandeur, the majestic and graceful edifice of St. Paul’s. From no point of view can a more advantageous prospect of this vast cathedral be obtained than is afforded by Southwark Bridge, on which the spectator of the present scene is supposed to stand. Not only are its circular colonnade, its dome, its pinnacle and cross, and its western towers, plainly brought before the eye in bold relief, but also the entire upper range of its southern façade.
About the artist
Thomas Shotter Boys was born in Pentonville, North London. He was apprenticed to engraver George Cook, before moving to Paris during the 1820s. There he met Richard Parkes Bonington, with whom he worked. He returned to England in 1837 and initially engraved the designs of other artists and contributed to publications. In 1839, Boys produced his own publication, ‘Picturesque Architecture in Paris, Ghent and Antwerp’, the first English book with lithographic plates entirely in colour. He was elected a member of the New Water Colour Society in 1841 and in the following year published ‘Original Views of London As It Is’. Boys spent the last 20 years of his life teaching drawing and working as a lithographer. He died aged 71 in St John's Wood.
- Blackfriars, from Southwark Bridge
- Coloured lithograph
- height: 34.20 cm, width: 53.90 cm
- Purchased from Walter T Spencer, January 1953
- GAC number