VI: Westminster Bridge & Abbey from the Adelphi

William Daniell (1769 - 1837)

Colour aquatint

published 1 January 1805
  • About the work

    There had been proposals to construct a bridge across the River Thames at Westminster as far back as the Restoration period of 1660 to 1700, but it was not until 1738 that an engineer, Charles Labelye, was appointed to bring the project to fruition. Westminster Bridge was opened in 1750 and was, after London Bridge, only the second masonry structure to cross the Thames. The present cast-iron bridge was constructed just over a century later, between 1854 and 1862. It was while standing on old Westminster Bridge in 1802 that Wordsworth was inspired to write his sonnet ‘Earth has not anything to show more fair…’. The west bank of the river is dominated by the sight of Westminster Abbey, with its towers designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and erected in 1745. Westminster Hall, the lower building nearer the river, is now the only surviving part of the original Palace of Westminster.

  • About the artist
    William Daniell was a much travelled landscape painter. In 1784 he went to India with his uncle, the artist Thomas Daniell, where he assisted Thomas with his drawing and sketching. By the time they returned to England in 1794, William was not only a proficient draughtsman but had also perfected the art of aquatinting. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1807 and a Royal Academician in 1822. He refused the post of draughtsman to an Australian expedition to instead make numerous sketching tours throughout England and Scotland. Daniell is regarded as a superb aquatinter and his best works are thought to be among his Scottish views for ‘Voyage Round Great Britain’. He died in London in 1837.
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  • Details
    VI: Westminster Bridge & Abbey from the Adelphi
    published 1 January 1805
    Colour aquatint
    Purchased from Frank T Sabin, July 1962
    GAC number