London: A History in Paintings & Illustrations
By: Stephen Porter (author)Hardback
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London has been an irresistible subject for generations of artists and draughtsmen, who have captured scenes of everyday life as well as the grand occasions in a variety of moods and weather. Their work has provided us with a rich legacy that is a record of London and its people, complementing the testimony of writers in portraying the splendour and the variety, the humour and sometimes the folly within the metropolis. The range of illustrations includes the atmospheric paintings of Claude de Jongh from the early seventeenth century, the Georgian elegance shown on Canaletto's cultured canvases, and Gustave Dore's disturbingly grim images of slum dwellers in Victorian London. The map-makers, too, captured the layout and character of the city and its many districts. But there are other illustrations, by little-known or anonymous draughtsmen, of particular corners or details of life within London's many worlds. A Dutch visitor, Johannes de Witt, was at the Swan Theatre on Bankside in 1596 and sent a sketch of the interior to an acquaintance, whose copy is the only contemporary illustration of the interior of a playhouse of Shakespeare's time.
That is just one of the invaluable survivals which provide us with windows into London's past. This spectacular collection of images from medieval times to the present includes paintings, sketches and prints, and is accompanied by authoritative explanatory accounts of the places, people and subjects illustrated.
Stephen Porter, until his recent retirement, worked for over seventeen years for the Survey of London, a century-old project devoted to the history of London's built environment. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, has held research posts at the University of Oxford and lectured on London's history at the Museum of London. His books include The Tower of London, The London Charterhouse ('A model history' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH), and The Great Plague ('An excellent introduction for the general reader' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH). After 25 years living in the capital he now lives in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
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- ID: 9781445632742
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