This view down the River Thames, towards Westminster Bridge, includes Westminster Abbey in the distance and Hungerford Market to the right. In the middle ground a long jetty can be seen, while, in the foreground, a group of bathers are undressing at the waters’ edge, next to docked boats. In the right foreground, sacks are unloaded from a horse and cart.
This plate is one of a series of twelve, all lithographed by illustrator William Parrott, after his own watercolour designs. The plates were published by Henry Brooks, under the title ‘London from the Thames’ (1840), without any accompanying text. The twelve prints were issues in four parts, each composed of three works. They were priced at 12 shillings for each uncoloured part, or 21 shillings for coloured versions. In November 1841 a title page was published, along with views of ‘London Bridge and Westminster’ and ‘Hungerford from Milbank’, and these three prints crowned the set.
Topographical painter, watercolourist and lithographer William Parrott was the son of a farmer from Aveley, in Essex. He was initially apprenticed to engraver John Pye but later virtually abandoned engraving in favour of watercolour painting. Parrott exhibited in London at the Royal Academy (1835-63) and also at the British Institution, Royal Society of British Artists and elsewhere. He lived briefly in Paris (1842-43) and then Rome (1844-45), and published a series of twelve lithographs titled ‘Paris et ses Environs’ (1843). In 1851 he made a tour of Germany and he also paid frequent visits to Brittany and Normandy. Parrott occasionally painted figure subjects, including a caricature of J. M. W. Turner (1840; Ruskin Museum, Oxford).
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