View of Westminster Bridge including Westminster Hall and the Abbey

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: USA
    City: Washington DC
    Place: British Embassy

    There had been proposals to construct a bridge across the River at Westminster as far back as the Restoration, but it was not until 1738 that engineer Charles Labelye (1705-1781) was appointed to bring the project to fruition. Westminster Bridge was opened in 1750. After London Bridge, it was only the second masonry structure to cross the Thames. In 1802, while standing on this version of the bridge, known now as Old Westminster Bridge, Wordsworth was inspired to write his sonnet ‘Earth has not anything to show more fair…’. The present cast-iron bridge was constructed just over a century after Old Westminster Bridge, between 1854 and 1862.

  • About the artist
    Joseph Farington was born in Leigh, Lancashire, son of the vicar of Leigh and rector of Warrington. He was educated in Manchester and studied under Richard Wilson in London from 1763. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1769 and became an Academician in 1785. His strength was in pen, ink and wash drawings of topographical views. He made extensive sketching tours of the UK and settled in the North Country from 1776. Works made there led to the publication ‘Views of the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland’ (1785). In 1780 he suffered a breakdown after his wife died. In the next year he moved to London. He died on a visit to his brother in Lancashire, when he fell down steps at Didsbury Church. His personal diaries were published in 1934.
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  • Details
    Title
    View of Westminster Bridge including Westminster Hall and the Abbey
    Date
    1 October 1790
    Medium
    Coloured aquatint
    Dimensions
    height: 43.00 cm, width: 64.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Vicars Bros., March 1957
    GAC number
    3762