City of Bath
Colour aquatintpublished March 1826
About the work
Bath in Somerset is viewed here between a background of rolling hills and a foreground of vegetation and fields of grazing cattle. The city itself is dominated by Bath’s grand terraces of residential buildings. To the right of the composition, the east front of the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, more commonly known as Bath Abbey, can be seen. By the early 19th century, Bath was one of the largest cities in Britain, its population already having reached 40,020 by 1801.
About the artist
Robert Havell senior, son of artist and publisher Daniel Havell, was born in Reading but moved to London as a child. After Robert launched his career, father and son collaborated on illustrations for Henry Salt’s ‘Twenty Four Views Taken in St. Helena’ (1809–10). However, the partnership was short-lived and Robert later established himself at premises in Fitzrovia. He married Lydia Miller Phillips and had a son, Robert junior. Robert junior and his father formed the firm of R. Havell & Son, working on numerous projects including ‘Birds of America’ for John James Audubon. The scale of this project led them to employ 50 additional staff and move to larger premises in Oxford Street. Robert senior died a year after the company expansion.