The South West Prospect of Shrewsbury
About the work
In this 18th-century view, the town of Shrewsbury is busy with activity. In the foreground a shepherd lounges on the riverbank with his dog and three cattle. The town of Shrewsbury is seen from a distance, with the River Severn looping around it.
In 1728 brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck commenced a project: to record views or ‘prospects’ of each of the principal towns and cities of England and Wales. Each prospect was drawn at a rural spot, some distance from the town itself and, when possible, from a height. When these were later published, a numbered key and an accompanying, descriptive text were included below the image.
About the artist
Brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck were the leading British topographical draughtsmen and engravers of the 18th century. They produced several hundred drawings and engravings, including 87 ‘Prospects’ of England and Wales. The engravings are important visual records of the appearance of British urban landscapes prior to the Industrial Revolution. In many cases, the places depicted have since disappeared or changed beyond recognition. Their dedication in recording almost every corner of the country has left modern viewers with an invaluable record of Britain’s past. As demand for their prints fell away, Nathaniel took over a furniture business, while Samuel tried several professions, including teaching draughtsmanship and cleaning pictures.
- The South West Prospect of Shrewsbury
- Coloured engraving
- height: 46.30 cm, width: 88.30 cm
- Purchased from the Parker Gallery, May 1964
- GAC number