The South Prospect of Scarborough, in the County of York
Coloured engraving15 April 1745
About the work
In this 18th-century view the town of Scarborough is busy with activity. Horse-drawn bathing boxes are seen on the beach and in the water, allowing bathers to enter and leave the water without being seen in their modest (by today’s standards) bathing suits. The sea is also crowed with vessels, including several tall ships.
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. The text on this, 'The South Prospect of Scarborough' tells us:
‘… for the conveniency [sic] of Bathing wherein, in the proper Season they have a curious contrivance of Wooden Houses moveable on wheels. Here was formerly a famous Castle… seated on a remarkable high Rock… This Castle is now in ruins, having been demolished in the time of the Rebellion.’
About the artist
Brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck made their names as leading British topographical draughtsmen of the 18th century. Over a period of 34 years, the Bucks produced several hundred drawings and engravings, including 87 engraved prospects of England and Wales. These are now important visual records of the appearance of British urban landscapes prior to the changes that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. In some cases, the places depicted have since disappeared or changed beyond recognition.
- The South Prospect of Scarborough, in the County of York
- 15 April 1745
- Coloured engraving
- height: 45.90 cm, width: 86.60 cm
- Purchased from Parker Gallery, June 1966
- GAC number