South East View of Bridge-North in Shropshire

Paul Sandby (1731 - 1809)

Coloured aquatint

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    The town of Bridgnorth is named after the North Bridge, so called because it was located further north than the bridge in the town of Quatford. In Paul Sandby’s view of Bridgnorth, houses are seen at either end of the bridge. On a slope to the right of the composition are town buildings amid trees. In the foreground, figures on the river bank are seen loading a boat, riding a horse, sitting on a cart drawn by oxen and mending a sail.

    Sandby first visited Bridgnorth in 1770 and the town appears in the background of two later bodycolour landscapes; one at the Victoria and Albert Museum, dated 1794, the other at the Yale Center for British Art. The artist also exhibited his ‘East View of Bridgnorth’ at the Royal Academy in 1801.

  • About the artist
    Paul Sandby was born in Nottingham. He was a painter, printmaker, draughtsman and drawing master, who made an important contribution to the development of British watercolour painting. He was taught by his elder brother Thomas Sandby (c.1723–1798), architect and draughtsman, and followed Thomas in finding employment with the Board of Ordnance. In 1747 Sandby was appointed official draughtsman to the military survey of the Scottish Highlands, following the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. He continued his work in a similar capacity when employed to record military encampments in London, established following the Gordon Riots of 1780. He also held the post of chief drawing master at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich from 1768 to 1796. Sandby was a central figure in the establishment of the Society of Artists in 1761 and, like his brother Thomas, a founding member of the Royal Academy. Today, he is best-known for his numerous views of Windsor Castle and Windsor Great Park, executed over a period of some 50 years. Little is known of the early life of Edward Rooker. He was a pupil of engraver Henry Roberts, based in High Holborn, while he simultaneously pursued a career in acting. Between 1748 and 1749, he engraved three complex drawings after designs by Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. He also appeared on the stage at the New Wells Theatre, London, in 1749 and, by 1752, had joined the company at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where he remained for 22 years. Rooker’s career as an engraver continued with a print of a sectional view of St Paul’s Cathedral (1755) and works for publications, including plates for William Chambers’ Designs of Chinese Buildings (1757) and James Stuart’s 'Antiquities of Athens' (1762). He collaborated with Paul and Thomas Sandby on 'Six London Views', and again with Thomas for a series of illustrations to Tasso’s 'Jerusalem Delivered'. Rooker died unexpectedly in 1774, after inviting friends to supper at his home in Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, probably to celebrate his 50th birthday.
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  • Details
    South East View of Bridge-North in Shropshire
    Coloured aquatint
    Purchased from Frank T Sabin, June 1963
    GAC number