Echoing Canaletto's famous view of St Paul's and the sweep of the river from the gardens of Somerset House, this painting provides a telling contrast which reflects the development of the city in the intervening years.

The artist depicts the Tower Guard en route for duty from Wellington Barracks being watched by a nursemaid with her two charges. He renders the changing light of London in all its subtlety. It is a summer morning with hazy sunshine dimmed by industrial pollution, but the strong shadows and sparkle of sunlight on the river give a clear impression of the heat of the day. For an English painting of the period, it is remarkably free of anecdotal incident, more reminiscent of French plein-air art of the 1860s.

Provenance

M.Newman Ltd, 1956; Cawood Ltd.


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