This view of the newly built Houses of Parliament was published before the construction of the building was absolutely finished, in around 1870, but at around the time work on the Commons Chamber was completed in 1852. In the foreground, the River Thames is busy with activity, as small rowing boats and ships powered by steam or sail travel up and down the river.
Edmund Walker began as a miniature painter on ivory, abandoning the practice as photography grew in popularity. He then turned to architectural draughtsmanship, making sketches of country seats and selling them to the owners. His views of the Thames Embankment (completed 1870) were exhibited at the Royal Academy, as were many of his architectural drawings. Sometime before 1851 he began working for the publishers Day & Son. He made watercolour views and lithographs of the interiors of the Great Exhibition and lithographed William Simpson’s sketches of the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny for the firm. He reportedly ‘never fully recovered’ from the effect of the failing fortunes of Day & Son, late in his career. Walker died in 1882, aged 68.
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