Canaletto, View from Somerset Gardens looking towards London Bridge, c. 1746-55

Canaletto, View from Somerset Gardens looking towards London Bridge, c. 1746-55

In 1746 Canaletto travelled to England and over the following decade produced a rich record of mid-Georgian London. In this elaborately finished work, drawn as a collector’s item, the city of London is seen from above the terrace of Old Somerset House, designed by Inigo Jones in the 1630s. Stairs lead to the Thames, thronging with river traffic. In the far distance stands Old London Bridge, while St. Paul’s cathedral towers above a skyline dotted with church spires.