The South East Prospect of the City of Bristol

Samuel and Nathaniel Buck (1696 - 1779)

Coloured engraving

published 1734
  • About the work

    The depiction of fashionably dressed ladies and gentlemen at leisure in this, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck's 'South East Prospect of the City of Bristol', contrasts with the the working classes, including women washing clothes and arranging them to dry, seen in the brothers' 'North West Prospect' of the city (see GAC 9633).

    In 1720 the Buck brothers published proposals for engraved views or ‘prospects’ of two panoramic drawings of English towns: Leeds and Wakefield. The success of the prints led to a further eight town prospects. In 1728 they extended the project to record ‘prospects’ of every remaining principal town of England and Wales. Each was drawn at a rural spot some distance from the town itself and, when possible, from a height. The prospects were published with a numbered key and descriptive text 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.
  • Explore
    Subjects
    Materials & Techniques
    engraving, coloured engraving
  • Details
    Title
    The South East Prospect of the City of Bristol
    Date
    published 1734
    Medium
    Coloured engraving
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Parker Gallery, March 1967
    GAC number
    7560