Treasures of the Guildhall Art Gallery
Cover, detail from
Pomegranates (1866) Albert Joseph Moore 1841-1893
Treasures of the Guildhall Art Gallery WELCOME... Inside this guide we have featured some of the highlights of the City of Londonâ€™s extensive art collection. All the pictures chosen are favourites of visitors to the Guildhall Gallery and we hope they are some of yours too. As there are over 4,000 pieces in the collection, there are always lots more treasures for you to discover. The selection of artworks on display rotates so if something featured here is not on show right now, it will be back again at a future date. The paintings are all oil on canvas unless noted otherwise. Enjoy!
A collection of art TREASURES worthy of the capital city Alfred Temple Gallery Director 1885
The Gallery is a special surprise, LONDON’S hidden gem Isabel Hill, age 12, 2016
Guildhall Art Gallery at twilight, Architect Richard Gilbert Scott.
The Gallery Story HOW THE CITY OF LONDON’S ART COLLECTION DEVELOPED AND THE WAY IT WORKS TODAY
uildhall Art Gallery is essentially a portrait of the City and the riches of its art collectors. The Gallery opened in 1886 at a time when, inspired by the public’s increased taste for art, civic leaders were opening their collections for all to view free of charge. The aim of Guildhall Art Gallery was to display a Collection of Art Treasures worthy of the capital city. The Gallery’s first director, Alfred Temple, mounted a series of popular exhibitions, queues for which stretched from Guildhall Yard to the Bank of England. He also started to collect contemporary art, a tradition maintained today. Fire almost entirely destroyed the Gallery during the ‘longest night of the Blitz’ in 1941. Although much of the collection had been
moved for safety to an underground store in Wiltshire, several hundred works of art were lost. Undaunted, the City Corporation opened a temporary gallery, hosting loan exhibitions, the annual Lord Mayor’s Art Award and the City of London Art Exhibition. In 1985, the City Corporation decided to re-develop the existing building and during subsequent works, the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre were discovered. This resulted in a major redesign to allow the public access to London’s original place of entertainment. The new Gallery was opened by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. Today the Gallery shows a changing display of about 250 artworks from its permanent collection of paintings, drawings and sculpture. The collection is particularly rich in
Romans establish Londinium and within 30 years build an amphitheatre here.
Work on the current Guildhall begins and the building is completed in 1440.
The Guildhall Art Gallery opens on its current site to great acclaim.
Clockwise from top Shakespeare bust by Tim Crawley; The Great Fire of London,1666 after Waggoner; detail of Chila Kumari Burman’s self-portrait from a recent temporary exhibition; Gallery’s upper floor; and, 1930’s LCC Tramways poster advertising the Guildhall Galleries.
Victorian art whose styles and themes range from Pre-Raphaelites to the late 19th-century fashion for all things Oriental. The London paintings take visitors on a colourful journey into the City’s past, covering dramatic events like the Great Fire of London,1666 and crowds enjoying the Lord Mayor’s Show, to everyday street scenes that provide a valuable insight into past life. The Gallery’s focus is on expanding this unique collection. There are also portraits of royalty and City benefactors dating back to the 18th century when the City Corporation commissioned works to adorn the Guildhall. One of the most remarkable paintings in the collection is John Copley’s monumental Defeat of the Batteries at Gibraltar around which the Gallery was designed. In addition to the permanent collection the Gallery hosts temporary exhibitions, talks, lectures and special events.
Fire almost destroys the Gallery in the ‘longest night of the Blitz’.
The remains of the Roman Amphitheatre are discovered.
Queen Elizabeth II opens the new Guildhall Art Gallery.
The City of London’s copy of the Magna Carta is displayed in the Heritage Gallery.
Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, 1782 (1783-91) John Singleton Copley 1738-1815 The Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779-1783) was one of the world’s longest military sieges, where a 5,000 -strong British garrision defeated combined French and Spanish attacking forces of 65,000. Copley’s painting shows the bombardment of the ten ‘battering ships’, the so-called ‘Floating Batteries’. The British fired red-hot heated shot which created an inferno and turned the tide of the battle in their favour. The City of London commissioned the painting and in 1886 it was hung in the new Guildhall Art Gallery. During World War II the painting was taken down and sent for safety just three weeks before the Gallery itself burnt down. With nowhere to hang the picture, it remained in storage until 1984 when remedial conservation work and seven years of restoration were undertaken. It then went back into storage. In 1999, having been hidden from view for 58 years, the painting went on public display in the new Guildhall Art Gallery - with a double-height wall specifically designed for its display.
UNDER CANVAS To make his eight years spent on the painting profitable, Copley had a special 84-foot long tent erected in Green Park to exhibit the picture for an entrance fee of a shilling per head.
La Ghirlandata (1873) Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882
Israel in Egypt 1867 Sir Edward John Poynter (1836-1919 ) The picture illustrates a passage from Exodus that describes how the enslaved Israelites were used to build the storehouses of Phitom and Ramses. Poynter, the son of an architect, depicts an eclectic combination of real buildings and monuments from different sites and periods with meticulous accuracy. Drawn from published sources and actual monuments, they include the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Temple of Isis from Philae and the Obelisk of Heliopolis. The Nubian lion is in the British Museum.
Rossetti painted this picture at Kelmscott Manor, the house he part-owned with William Morris. Rossetti was in love with Morris’s wife Jane. The honeysuckle and roses around the top of the harp indicate sexual attraction, while the harp itself represents music - a common Victorian metaphor for love. The picture’s frame was designed by Rossetti himself.
MANPOWER The picture’s first owner, the engineer Sir John Hawkshaw, observed there were not enough slaves to move the weight of the lion. Poynter added some more.
The Ceremony of Administering the Mayoralty Oath to Nathaniel Newnham, November 8,1782 William Miller 1740–1810 Newnham, a sugar-baker who went on to found a private bank and was elected a Member of Parliament for the city, became Lord Mayor in 1782. He is seen here in his black and gold state robe being admitted in Guildhall on November 8 in the Silent Ceremony. The two small boys at the bottom right are nephews of the Lord Mayor, while the new Lady Mayoress is seen leaning forward in a group of ladies on the left. Directly below is John Boydell who donated many paintings to the City that now form the nucleus of the Guildhall Art Gallery collection.
SILENCE PLEASE While Miller animated his painting by composing the figures into chatting groups, in reality the ceremony would have taken place in dignified silence .
Sir Hugh Wyndham, Kt., Judge of the Common Pleas (1670) John Michael Wright 1617–1694 Following the Great Fire, 1666, a special commission of royal Judges – the Fire Court – was appointed to deal with compensation claims. They sat at Clifford’s Inn and their work was of intense interest to the City, for rebuilding could not properly progress without it. Sir Hugh Wyndham was one of the judges involved. In 1670, the Court of Aldermen decided to commission portraits of the Fire Judges, in recognition of their important work. All were framed in matching carved and gilded pine frames and were hung in front of the windows in the newly restored Guildhall. Many of the portraits were damaged during the Second World War and subsequently removed from the Corporation’s collection. Only two remain. It is not known when the gilded frames were painted black.
The Pool of London during Docklands Air Raids, 1940 Charles Pears 1873-1958 This dramatic wartime scene is painted almost exclusively in red and black, symbolic of destruction and war. It shows the searchlight beams scanning the sky for enemy aircraft while a ship sails under Tower Bridge. The Bridge can be read as a symbol of national identity. Ironically, German airmen relied on it as a navigational landmark and did not bomb it.
POSTER BOY Pears was a prolific poster artist for London Underground and also created posters for the Empire Marketing Board and the Metropolitan Railway
Ego et Rex Meus (1888) Sir John Gilbert 1817-1897 Until his downfall, Cardinal Wolsey was one of Henry VIII’s most trusted advisors. Gilbert’s inspiration for this painting was Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, Act I, scene ii. As the scene opens Henry enters, leaning on Wolsey’s shoulder, and then hears from Queen Katharine of the unfair taxes that Wolsey has been levying. Ego et Rex Meus was an expression attributed to Wolsey and used to prove that he considered his power to be above that of the King. The translation from Latin is ‘I and my King’ rather than ‘My King and I’.
The Ninth of November, 1888 (1890) William Logsdail 1859–1944 The procession is that of Sir James Whitehead, Lord Mayor 1888-1889. The Royal Exchange can be seen behind the Lord Mayor’s state coach and his footmen, with the Bank of England on the left. Logsdail began by painting the policemen in position early in the morning when the City was still silent. Later he positioned himself in the middle of the traffic to draw the background architecture. He painted the Lord Mayor’s coach with the horses harnessed up at their stables in Fore Street, and the coachmen and footmen posed in their livery at his Primrose Hill studio, where he had built a glass studio to enable him to get the light and atmosphere of the open air. As well as professional models and London ‘types’, Logsdail used some of his friends for the figures in the crowd, including the painter J W Waterhouse in a brown bowler hat.
Plenty and Progress, 2012 Mark Titchner b.1973 Polished stainless steel
Titchner’s texts are taken from writings as diverse as Victorian socialist thought and self-help mantras. His work presents concepts and ideologies which encourage the viewer to form their own conclusions. The polished stainless steel, back-painted in red, creates a work that is both sumptuous and austere and reflects the financial environment surrounding Guildhall Art Gallery – thrusting and forward looking but also historic and traditional.
The Music Lesson (1877) Frederic, Lord Leighton 1830–1896 Leighton had visited Damascus in 1873, and the fabrics and the architectural setting probably derive from that trip. The stringed instrument is a Turkish ‘saz’. The two girls are European, and the younger one is Connie Gilchrist (1865-1946), a celebrated child dancer and pantomime artiste noted for her beautiful hair. She also modelled for Whistler and Frank Holl. Connie went on to become one of the most popular actresses of the day.
24-HOUR LORD Leighton was made a Lord on his deathbed. He had the shortest peerage in history, lasting just one day.
Chaos on London Bridge (date unknown) Ken Workman 1897-1975 Traffic congestion in London is nothing new and Harold Workman’s slightly tongue-incheek depiction of mid-twentieth century chaos on London Bridge is probably only slightly inaccurate. Old London Bridge was itself finally demolished in 1832, having made way for a new bridge designed by John Rennie. It was widened in 1905 but still proved to be unable to cope with the ever-increasing demands of vehicle and pedestrian traffic – well illustrated in Workman’s painting. In 1973 Queen Elizabeth II opened a new box girder bridge on the site. Rennie’s London Bridge being sold, dismantled and reconstructed in Lake Havasu, Arizona. The painting shows Adelaide House on the right side of the bridge which, on completion in 1925, was the tallest office block in the City.
My First Sermon (1863) John Everett Millais 1829â€“1896 The little girl was Millaisâ€™s five year old daughter Effie and this was the first time that he used any of his children as models. She is sitting in one of the old high-backed pews in All Saints Church, Kingston-upon-Thames. Millais hurried to paint the pews in December 1862 shortly before they were removed. He knew Kingston well, as his parents had moved there in 1854.
REPEAT BUSINESS Millais was so pleased with My First Sermon, he made an oil copy of it, doing the work from start to finish in two days.
My Second Sermon (1864) Sir John Everett Millais 1829-1896 After the success of My First Sermon at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1863, Millais painted a companion showing his daughter Effie once again, after the novelty has worn off. In his speech at the next Royal Academy Banquet, the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed it as a warning against â€˜the evil of lengthy sermons and drowsy discoursesâ€™.
Reception of King George V and Queen Mary at the West Door of St Paulâ€™s Cathedral, Jubilee Day, May 6 1935 (1937) Frank O Salisbury 1874-1962 Chromolithograph
This painting revels in the brilliance of robes and uniforms. In the immediate foreground, with their backs to us, stand members of the Yeoman of the Guard, in their characteristic Elizabethan costume. On the left, state trumpeters blow a fanfare while Indian princes enter. From left to right towards the front of the group come H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, the Duke of York (later King George VI), the Duke of Gloucester, the
Duchess of York, the princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII and then Duke of Windsor following his abdication), the Lord Chamberlain, H.M King George V, H.M Queen Mary, the Prime Minister, Mr. Stanley Baldwin, the Archbishops of York and Canterbury and the Lord Mayor, Sir Stephen Kilik in his official robes, bearing aloft the City sword.
QUEEN QUIZ? Can you spot the future Queen Elizabeth II, then aged nine, looking out at the artist?
The Last Evening (1873) James Jacques Joseph Tissot 1836-1902 Tissot began painting riverside subjects soon after he arrived in London in 1871. His interest in river and port life stemmed from his childhood in the port of Nantes. For this picture he used seafaring friends as the models, John Freebody as the captain and his wife Margaret and her brother Lumley Kennedy as the young couple. The setting may be one of the ships of which Captain Freebody was Master. The picture’s story is ambiguous. None of the participants meet each other’s eyes, and sharp tonal contrasts and the complicated rigging combine to create an oppressive and tense mood
SHIP-SHAPED The artist’s familiarity with the rigging of sailing ships and fittings of a ship’s quarter deck is probably due to his upbringing in the seaport surroundings of Nantes.
The Garden of Eden (1901) Hugh Goldwyn Riviere 1869-1956 A young couple, from their appearance something like a lowly shop assistant and a clerk, are transported by love from their grimy reality to the Garden of Eden. The couple who modelled for this picture were Beatrice Langdon-Davies, the artist’s sister-in-law, and her fiance Percy Silley. Although the Gallery’s Director at the time, Alfred Temple, believed the painting depicted ‘a wet afternoon in the Green Park’, Beatrice’s granddaughter has said that the setting was Kensington Gardens, near Lancaster Gate. Beatrice was chaperoned throughout the sittings for the painting by her own grandmother.
Blackfriars Bridge & St Paul’s (1995) Anthony Lowe b.1957 Taken from midstream, the view looks north-eastwards across Blackfriars Bridge towards St Paul’s Cathedral. Notable landmark buildings include the Unilever Building at the extreme left, the City of London School seen next to St Paul’s Cathedral and, at the upper right of the composition, Tower 42.
Blackfriars Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral (c.1778) William Marlow 1740-1813 The competition to design London’s third masonry bridge was won in 1760 by 25 year-old Robert Mylne. Completed in 1769, the Bridge was officially named after William Pitt but everyone called it Blackfriars Bridge. Initially it charged highly unpopular tolls and in 1780 the toll gates were broken down by the Gordon rioters, but the bridge was not made toll-free until 1785. It was replaced in 1869 by the present iron and steel bridge. Marlow, who was influenced by Canaletto, painted this view several times (the collection also includes an earlier oval version). Marlow depicts Blackfriars Bridge and the City from Lambeth, with the City’s wharves seen through its Portland Stone arches. In the centre of the picture, a wherry conveys passengers and their belongings downriver.
Fleet Street looking East (1898) Henry Edward Tidmarsh 1854-1939 WATERCOLOUR
This scene looks up Ludgate Hill to St Paul’s cathedral. The church beyond the railway bridge leading to Ludgate Hill Station is St Martin Ludgate. The figures include a railway porter, a City of London police constable, a violet seller and a street orderly removing horse dung. Earlier in his life Tidmarsh trained as a metal worker and here he includes a medley of metal shop signs and street lamps.
The Pyrrhic Dance (1869) Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema 1836–1912 The dance was named after its inventor Pyrrhichos and imitated the movements of attack and defence. It was performed in ancient Athens and in Sparta by warriors in full armour. The artist suggests their movements with clouds of dust kicked up by their feet. Alma-Tadema had visited Pompeii and Herculaneum on his honeymoon in 1863. When he returned he abandoned his earlier medieval subjects in favour of the classical – mainly Roman – subjects that were to bring him enormous fame. The painting is a rare Greek topic for the artist.
A-LISTER SIr Lawrence Alma-Tadema was born as Laurens Tadema. He incorporated Alma into his surname in order to have his name appear at the beginning of exhibition catalogues.
The Thames During the Great Frost of 1739 (1740) Jan Griffier, The Younger active 1738-1773 The demolition of old London Bridge in 1832 allowed the Thames to flow more freely. Before then, in really severe winters, it sometimes froze over and Frost Fairs would be held on the ice if it was thick enough. On 31 January 1740, the Gentleman’s Magazine recorded that “The Thames floated with rocks and shoals of Ice; rising everywhere in hillocks and huge Rocks of Ice and Snow. Booths, Stalls and Printing-Presses were erected.” (See above). Unfortunately the ice was not completely safe. The Gentleman’s Magazine account also notes that “Multitudes walk’d over it, and some were lost by their Rashness”. Westminster Bridge can be seen on the right, it was then under construction.
ICE TIME Entertainments on the ice included bear baiting, cat throwing and flying coaches - where people were flung about on a roundabout.
Henry Hubert La Thangue 1859-1929 Dried bracken was used as winter bedding for farm animals and also for thatching. Here, the young labourer has made a primitive handle for his scythe from some wood he has found growing naturally. Attached to it is a bow, made from a hazel rod, which helped to lay down the mown crop ready for collection. By the time this picture was painted, many farmworkers had left the countryside in search of better pay and conditions, and their old skills and trades were already in decline. The paintingâ€™s melancholy mood underscored by its autumnal colouring seems to be a lament for the changing life of the countryside.
Cheapside, 10.10 a.m. 10th February 1970 Ken Howard b.1932 FROM TINY ACORNS The contemporary frame (left) is likely to be the original as the unusually complex design of oak leaves and acorns complements the autumnal themes and colours of the painting perfectly.
After art school and working as the official war artist for the Imperial War Museum, Ken Howard travelled widely painting life and nature with honestly and accuracy. The view is on the north side of the street looking west, with St Mary-le-Bow reflected in a shop window. .
The Wounded Cavalier (1855) William Shakespeare Burton 1824–1916 A Puritan couple have come across a Cavalier dying from wounds he seems to have sustained in a fight over a game of cards. Despite their different beliefs, the young woman cannot help but comfort him while her disapproving companion remains coldly aloof, his stiffness emphasised by the position of the tree trunk. The butterfly on the broken sword, the autumnal colouring and the broken down wall all symbolise transience. Burton painted the background at an old Cavalier mansion near Guildford, probably Loseley Park. He placed his easel in a hole so he could study the ferns and brambles more closely and later claimed that his close attention to detail in this picture had permanently damaged his eyesight.
Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1829-31) John Constable 1776-1837 This picture is the full-sized sketch for the more finished picture of this title which Constable exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1831. The mood of the picture is troubled and stormy, and may be related to Constable’s own emotional state in the wake of his wife’s death the previous year. When the sketch came to the Gallery it bore the title Fording The River, Showery Weather and in place of the cathedral’s spire was a square church tower. X-ray and expert examination in 1951 showed that this tower and other parts had been painted over orginal paint and varnish. The overpaint was removed to reveal the picture in its present form.
Guildhall Art Gallery’s first director Sir Alfred Temple bought the painting for the Gallery out of his own pocket. It was six months before enough donations could be found to repay him.
Recruiting in the Guildhall by Sir Charles Wakefield (1919-20) Fred Roe 1864 - 1946 The scene is the Guildhall, in which are assembled many young patriots in their newly donned khaki. They have come to be sworn in and the Lord Mayor of the day, Sir Charles Wakefield is administering the oath of loyalty. His memorable quote is recorded on the lower frame of the painting â€œYour comrades have gone forth to fight in their thousands. Their names shine bright on the roll of fame. Ypres, Neuve Chapelle and Loos tell the tale of their imperishable glory.â€?
47 BATTALIONS The recruits in the painting were joining the Royal Fusiliers, also known as the City of London Regiment, whose many battalions served with distinction in WWI.
December 30, 1940, Again Tonight? (1958) David Shepherd 1931 Much of the area to the north of St Paulâ€™s, including the Guildhall (right), was obliterated by the first air raid to take place at night, on 29 December 1940. Although painted many years later, this picture movingly depicts the desolate scene the following day and presents the Cathedral â€“ no less than the vigilant Spitfire â€“ as a potent and defiant symbol of survival and continuity.
Ruby, Gold and Malachite (1902) Henry Scott Tuke 1858â€“1929 Tuke was fascinated by the effects of bright sunshine on naked flesh and championed the multiple male nude painting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He used quiet Newporth Beach outside Falmouth, Cornwall, as the setting for this scene. It was virtually inaccessible except by boat. The title refers to the colours of the sweater, the sunlit bodies and the green sea.
WATER BABY Tuke enjoyed a happy childhood in Falmouth and learnt to swim from its remote beaches.
Too Early (1873) James Jacques Joseph Tissot 1836-1902 One of the first of his immensely popular paintigss inspired by magazine illustrations of society subjects, Too Early has an immediacy and informality that reflects his contacts with Degas and the Impressionists. Tissot depicts the slightly uncomfortable situation of arriving too early for a party or event, before anything has started to happen. All the participants â€“ like the mistress instructing the musicians or the giggling maids peeping round the door â€“ are caught off guard as if in a snapshot, a sensation emphasised by the way the spectacles of one of the musicians reflect the light as if caught in a photographic flash.
ART WORKER James Tissot worked as a staff artist on the magazine Vanity Fair.
A Sonata of Beethoven Alfred Edward Emslie (1848-1918) This Florentine style of frame has been carefully chosen by the artist to echo the mirror frame within the image. A label on the back shows the frame was made by R J Stannard, Picture Frame Manufacturer, Carver, Gilder and Mount Cutter, 30 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury W1. Emslie was a genre and portrait painter from a family of artists. This picture was presented to the Guildhall School of Music in 1919 by his wife, Rosalie Emslie, who was herself a miniature painter, in acknowledgement of her husbandâ€™s enjoyment of music. It was later transferred to the Guildhall Art Gallery.
Self Portrait (1909) Sir Matthew Smith 1879-1959 Smith left home in 1908 for the artists’ colony in Pont Aven in Brittany, where he discovered the freedom to develop and mature as an artist. He painted this self portrait at Etaples during the second half of 1909, apparently over an earlier composition of which the intense bright blue extends to the turned over canvas edges and shows through the separate paint marks of the background curtain. It was his first important work – described as ‘heartbreaking’ by his girlfriend and future wife Gwen Salmond – and both hesitancy and determination are revealed in the intensely scrutinised features.
Market Arcade (1986) Ben Johnson b.1946 Johnson’s paintings are far from direct pictorial representations of specific buildings, rather they are reconstructions – sometimes, as here, almost abstract – of buildings’ innate rhythm and patterns. The composition is based on the roof trusses of Smithfield Market. The hypnotically receding ribs of the building evoke the animal carcasses that still trundled beneath them on barrows today.
Clytemnestra (1882) The Hon. John Collier 1850-1934 Clytemnestra was the wife of Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces that besieged Troy after the abduction of Helen. Before leaving, Agamemnon sacrificed their youngest daughter Iphigenia to ensure a favourable wind for his fleet. When he returned, with Cassandra, the captured daughter of King Priam of Troy, Clytemnestra murdered them both in revenge. The dramatic image reflects Collierâ€™s interest in the theatre. He shows us Clytemnestra moments after the murder, bringing the same attention to detail to her blood-spattered garments as to the archaeological details of the doorway and column.
CLASSIC MISTAKE Collier painted the column from a contemporary reconstruction of the Tomb of Agamemnon. Unfortunately the column had been positioned upside down.
Ariadne in Naxos (1875) George Frederick Watts The daughter of King Minos of Crete, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus when he arrived among the sacrificial victims sent annually from Athens to be devoured by the Minotaur. With her help Theseus killed it and escaped from its labyrinth. Ariadne begged Theseus to take her back with him to Athens but he abandoned
1817 - 1904 her on Naxos. Watts paints her in a posture that is redolent of loss and betrayal but also reflects the lifelong influence on the artist of the Elgin Marbles. Unnoticed by Ariadne, vine leaves, leopards and the attendantâ€™s gesture signal the arrival of Bacchus (Dionysus), who will console her.
Opening of Tower Bridge (1894) William Lionel Wyllie 1851–1931 When Wyllie exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy in 1895 the Art Journal’s reviewer wrote: “The day was glorious, the sun hot enough to raise a tremulous golden haze over river and land, the breeze brisk enough to keep colour sparkling and the landscape clear. Mr Wyllie found here all that his heart could desire – the closepacked flotilla of shipping, the race of the mighty river tide, the avenue of unpaintably brilliant and varied flaunting bunting, which led up to the mighty bridge standing white midstream in the westering sunlight, and the great fleet of craft of all sizes and rigs, headed by the Admiralty yacht Irene, passing under its vast uplifted arms.”
Since opening in 1894, Tower Bridge continues to be raised for shipping, lifting approximately 1,000 times a year. The function of Tower Bridge has evolved as London and Thames river traffic have changed, and since 1982 the spaces within the Bridge have been open to visitors as one of the capital’s leading visitor attractions. Today, the Exhibition welcomes around 800,000 visitors a year to experience this Victorian marvel of engineering, as well as experiencing a unique view of London life, through new glass floors on the high-level walkways. The profits generated at Tower Bridge Exhibition go toward supporting The City Bridge Trust – assisting charitable activities across Greater London.
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (1834) Paul Delaroche 1797-1856 Lady Jane Grey was a cousin of Edward VI. In order to change the royal succession from the Tudors to the Dudleys her father, the Duke of Suffolk, together with the Duke of Northumberland, arranged her marriage to Northumberland’s son, Guildford Dudley. The King was persuaded to settle the crown in her favour and four days after his death she was proclaimed Queen on 10 July 1553. Nine days later Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s daughter by Katharine of Aragon, swept to power and Jane and her husband were found guilty of High Treason. Jane was beheaded on 12 February 1554 in the Tower of London. She was just sixteen.
The Woodman’s Daughter (1851) Sir John Everett Millais 1829-1896 Millais took the subject from a poem by his friend Coventry Patmore. It tells how the friendship between innocent Maud and the rich squire’s son ends in tragedy. Millais painted the background out in the open in Wytham Wood near Oxford during the summer of 1850, but he added the figures of the children in his London studio during the winter. Millais painted the little girl’s boots from a pair that had belonged to a child named Esther, who lived in a cottage near Wytham Wood – he had them sent up to him in London, and sent her mother some money to buy a new pair. He also arranged to have a child’s old pinafore dress sent to him to paint. He painted the strawberries from some bought at Covent Garden Market in March 1851 – as they were out of season they were very expensive.
GREY MATTERS Jane and her husband were tried for High Treason here at the Guildhall, the trial taking place in the Great Hall.
Copyright Acknowledgements Paintings are the copyright of the City of London Corporation unless noted below: Blackfriars Bridge and St Paul’s © Anthony Lowe Chaos on London Bridge © Harold Workman Cheapside 10.10 a.m. Feb.10th.1970 © Ken Howard Market Arcade © David Shepherd Recruiting in the Guildhall by Sir Charles Wakefield © The artist’s estate Self Portrait © The artist’s estate Plenty and progress, 2012 © Mark Titchner Courtesy the Artist & Vilma Gold, London. The Garden of Eden © The artist’s estate The Pool of London During Dockland Air Raids,1940 © The artist’s estate View of Fleet Street, Looking East © John Tidmarsh Souvenir print from Thames Frost Fair Mehetabel Lovell (1740) from Houghton Library, Harvard University Photograph of bomb damage at Guildhall © City of London, London Metropolitan Archives. By kind permission of the Commissioner of the City of London Police. Photograph of Guildhall Art Gallery at twilight © Baizdon
produced by BAIZDON.com editor Tee Dobinson creative director Johnny Morris original photography Adam Parker
THANKS TO Monika Duda, Sarah Fox, Angus Hanton, Jeremy Johnson, Andrew Lane, Paul Mullens, Diane Timmins, Caroline Oliver and Carolyn Webb. SĂŠamus McKenna and the team at London Metropolitan Archives, City of London Corporation. Special appreciation to Guildhall Art Galleryâ€™s team of City of London tour guides for their stories about the artworks.
Pomegranates (1866) Albert Joseph Moore 1841-1893 Mooreâ€™s draped female figures act as vehicles for his interest in the abstract and decorative possibilities of colour and composition. Pomegranates is a curious mix of the classical and the exotic, the compostional elements combine to create a heady, langourous atmosphere.
Guildhall Galleries. The City Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation that supports and promotes the City as the world leader in international finance and business services; provides high quality local services and policing for those working in, living in and visiting the City; and provides valued services beyond the Square Mile, including its role as one of the most significantart sponsors in the UK and its support for the economic devleopment of the surrounding boroughs. cityoflondon.gov.uk