This view of the High Street in the city of Bath shows a carriage outside the White Lion Inn and Tavern, to the left of the composition. Next to the tavern is the town hall (now the Guildhall), which has a columned portico surmounted by a statue representing Justice. The shops on the opposite side of the street cast a shadow over the road, which is occupied by several people, including two women with a parasol, a man on horseback and a sedan chair. At end of the street the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (or Bath Abbey) can be seen. A terrace of houses seen here in front of the Abbey was demolished in the 19th century.
‘The Town Hall at Bath’ is one of a set of four views of Bath drawn by Thomas Malton junior. The other three plates in the series are titled: ‘The North Parade at Bath’, ‘The New Rooms at Bath’ and ‘The New Bridge at Bath’. The original watercolour for this print is now in the collection at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. The Gallery stands on the site formerly occupied by the rear yard of the White Lion Inn and Tavern.
Thomas Malton junior was a teacher of perspective, draughtsman, etcher and aquatint engraver of views after his own designs and caricatures after Thomas Rowlandson. He was born in London, the son of the architectural draughtsman Thomas Malton senior and the brother of James Malton, who also became a well known draughtsman and aquatint engraver. Malton junior worked in Dublin for three years for the architect John Gandon and later studied at the Royal Academy Schools. He also worked as a scene painter, as well as running evening drawing classes, at which Turner took lessons in perspective. From 1796 until 1804 he lived in Long Acre, off St. Martin’s Lane. He is best known for his careful drawings of London buildings.
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