While watching the Golden Jubilee coverage today, I got inspired to do some research about the paintings of the Thames that the television presenters were referring to, and I discovered some gorgeous views of the Thames.
The River Thames with St. Paul’s Cathedral on Lord Mayor’s Day, c.1747- 48, was painted by the Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal (known as Canaletto).
The Thames above Waterloo Bridge c.1830-35, by Joseph Mallord WIlliam Turner, shows an impressionistic view of the Thames, Turner “shrouds the river in a blanket of pollution, with chimneys belching out smoke” according to the Moderna Museet website.
James Jacques Joseph Tissot (15 October 1836 – 8 August 1902) was a French painter who spent much of his career in Britain. This painting, The Thames, c. 1876, gives the viewer a vision of a jaunty little group out for a pleasure trip on the crowded river.
Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge in Grey Weather, c.1903, shows a “crowded heaviness. Behind are the chimneys, dirt, smoke and steam of London and in front the bright dark flow of the Thames. Monet has parted them with his clever use or placing of the bright, red and green splashes on the vehicles crossing the bridge” according to the How Stuff Works website.
Finally, my 2011 photos of the Thames taken from the Tower Bridge show a modern London and a modern river. I hope you enjoyed today’s journey through history.