View of St. James’s Palace
EngravingPublished 11 March 1799
About the work
The print was made for 'The History of London and its Environs', a book by the Rev. Henry Hunter (1741-1802), who was a Church of Scotland minister and translator. The work began to be published in parts from 1796, but Hunter died before it was completed. In 1811, the publisher and bookseller John Stockdale (c.1749-1814) issued the complete work, which had been finished by other less skilled writers.
About the artist
Edward Dayes was born in London and apprenticed to mezzotinter and painter William Pether. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1786. During his early career he worked as a miniaturist, later concentrating on the topographical landscapes in watercolour for which he is best-known. Thomas Girtin was a pupil of Dayes’ until an argument between the two seems to have led to Girtin’s imprisonment. Although not a pupil, J. M. W. Turner also studied Dayes’s work and some watercolours by Turner from the 1790s are virtually indistinguishable from those of Dayes. Towards the end of his career, Dayes began working in oils with less success. He was known as a difficult character with a fiery temper and committed suicide in London in 1804.