The Modern City

Three views of London, pulled for Professor Yair Mintzker’s Junior Seminar ‘The Modern City’.

Joseph Smith (active 18th century), A Prospect of the City of London (La Ville de Londres), ca. 1724. Engraving.

In 1707, Johannes Kip (1653-1722) engraved a series of panoramic views after drawing by Leonard Knyff (1650-1721), which he published under the title Britannia Illustrata, or, Views of Several of the Queen’s Palaces (Marquand Library SAX Oversize NA961 .B74F). The series was later expanded and published as Nouveau théâtre de la Grand Bretagne (1724), with additional prints, such as this one by Joseph Smith. The panorama stretches from Temple (no.43) on the left to the Tower of London (no.64) on the right.

John Bluck (active 1791-1819), after a drawing by Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) and Agustus Pugin (1762-1832), A Bird’s Eye View of Smithfield Market Taken from the Bear and Ragged Staff, 1812. Hand colored aquatint.

From 1808 to 1811, Thomas Rowlandson worked with the architectural artist Agustus Pugin to create the 104 watercolors, aquatinted by John Bluck, for Rudolph Ackermann’s The Microcosm of London. Their second project for Ackermann was Views of London, with eighteen aquatints, which kept them busy for the next eleven years. This print is the second plate from Views of London, showing the cattle and sheep markets at the east side of the market.

Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), State Barge, City of London, 1810. Pencil, pen and ink drawing.

While working for Ackermann, Rowlandson continued to pursue individual commissions. This original drawing seems never to have been converted to a print but may have been a preliminary sketch for his Views of London.