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Horse Guards, the red-brick building in the centre built in 1663-5, was the headquarters of the army General Staff, and housed the horse guards and some foot guards. It was replaced in the 1750s with the white stone building that stands today. The Venetian Canaletto arrived in London in 1746, his paintings in demand from rich patrons. However, this work was produced speculatively, possibly in the hope of selling it to a wealthy resident of Downing Street (seen on the right). Canaletto later advertised in the Daily Advertiser for prospective buyers to view the painting at his Soho lodgings.

October 2013