This view of Greenwich includes Christopher Wren’s Royal Observatory to the left and his then incomplete Royal Naval Hospital to the right. Robert Griffier painted at least three views of Greenwich, each from the same viewpoint. This version, thought to be the earliest, may have been begun by his father, Jan Griffier senior. A larger example was exhibited at the Roy Miles Gallery, London, in 1975 and the only dated version, of 1729, is at Belton House, in Lincolnshire.
Robert Griffier was the son of Dutch landscape painter and engraver Jan Griffier senior (c.1645-1718), who moved to England in about 1672. Robert and his brother, Jan (c.1686-c.1750), both painted in the style of their father and enjoyed particular popularity during the 1730s and ‘40s. In 1753, some 35 years after his father’s death, Robert was sued by his mother, Mary, who claimed to have lent him £100 in 1731 to establish himself as a victualler (innkeeper). His most important work is now considered to be ‘Regatta on the Thames’ (1748; collection of the Duke of Buccleuch), which demonstrates the influence of Canaletto on his work.
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