Colour lithograph1 March 1823
About the work
This lithographic print, after original watercolours by William Westall, depicts a scenic view on a summer’s day along a stretch of the river Thames in south west London. It illustrates an aspect of the gothic Castellated Palace. The building was formerly situated in the northern section of Kew Gardens, today a world-famous botanical garden. However, the Castellated Palace was short-lived; being demolished only 25 years after construction began. ‘At Kew’ was issued as plate 31 of William Westall’s series of prints, published in 1824, titled: ‘Thirty-Five Views on The Thames, at Richmond, Eton, Windsor, and Oxford’.
About the artist
Charles Joseph Hullmandel was born in London; the son of a German composer and musician. He trained as an artist in Paris, before travelling on the continent. In 1817 he met J. A. Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, in Munich and changed the course of his career. His earliest published lithographs were ‘Twenty-Four Views of Italy’ (1818) and soon after this project he set up a lithographic press at his home in Great Marlborough Street. From then he worked as a lithographic draughtsman and printer. Most major improvements to lithography in Britain of the 1820s and ‘30s are attributed to him and he became the finest lithographer and most prolific printer. In 1827 he married flower painter Valentine Bartholomew. He died in London aged 61.
William Westall was born in Hertford; the son of a brewer and brother of Richard, RA. He enrolled at the Royal Academy schools in 1799 and was later draughtsman for a voyage to Australia and the South Seas. After being shipwrecked he travelled to Canton in China and to India, staying in Bombay for several months. He returned to England in 1805 but later set off for Madeira and Jamaica. He became a member of the Society of Painters in Water Colours (1811) and an associate of the Academy (1812). Following a mental breakdown he regularly visited the Lake District and published ‘Views of the Valley and Vale of Keswick’ (1820). His series of aquatints of the Thames, universities and public schools for Ackermann are among his most popular works.