Samuel Scott
An Arch of Old Westminster Bridge c.1750

Artwork details

Samuel Scott c.1702–1772
An Arch of Old Westminster Bridge
Date c.1750
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 270 x 397 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1886
Not on display

Display caption

Scott was primarily a painter of marine and river views, especially of the Thames. The latter were inspired by those of Canaletto who, like Scott, was interested in the construction of old Westminster Bridge. Construction began in 1739, but Scott's paintings of it were probably done in 1750 just before it was opened to traffic. This particular oil is one of five versions. Its small size suggests that it is possibly the first Scott painted, worked up from pencil studies made on the spot, to test ideas he had for his much larger and monumental work. Like Canaletto, Scott has included a touch of humour: on top of the balustrade a construction worker is taking a well-earned break.

September 2004

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