This view of the ‘Board of Trade, Whitehall, etc. from Downing Street’ 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:
‘The noble pile on the left of this view is appropriated to the sittings of the Privy Council and of the Board of Trade. It was erected on the site of some old offices connected with the Treasury, and was commenced in 1824, from the designs of Sir John Soane. The order of its architecture is that of the temple of Jupiter Stator at Rome, and, being executed in stone, the richness of its details, its columns, and magnificent entablature, are seen to great advantage.’
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.
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