This view of the River Thames is dominated by London Bridge, seen from the south. The bridge was newly built when Gideon Yates produced this drawing, sometime between 1831 and the artist's death in 1840. Also included are Fishmongers' Hall, seen to the left of the bridge, and beyond it the Monument, commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666.
In 1823 work began on the construction of the London Bridge seen here, which was located just upstream from Old London Bridge. It was designed by Sir John Rennie and was opened in 1831 by William IV and Queen Adelaide.
The concrete London Bridge that exists today was built between 1967 and 1972. Remarkably, Rennie’s 19th-century bridge was dismantled, sold and re-erected at Lake Havasu City in Arizona.
A very similar drawing by Yates, which shows a different arrangement of vessels but the same view of the Thames and the surrounding buildings, was sold through Christie’s in London, in 2009.
Gideon Yates, also at times described as Major George Yates, was a topographical artist who travelled extensively in the UK and on the Continent. He is particularly known for his views of bridges and buildings in London, mainly in the areas of Bermondsey and Southwark. Yates contributed two illustrations of London Bridge, drawn in 1823 and 1827, to lithographer R. Martin’s ‘Views of London Bridges’, a series of twelve plates published in three parts in c.1830.
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