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Wilson painted this view of Westminster Bridge under construction in the early autumn of 1744. The bridge, begun in 1738 and opened in 1750, was one of the major civic projects of the century. It became the focal point of innumerable London views, including the one by Samuel Scott, shown two paintings to the left.

When Wilson painted this picture he was still working principally as a portrait painter. But his attention to the broad sweep of scenery surrounding the bridge, and sensitive rendition of light, show he was profoundly interested in landscape long before he went to Italy in 1750.

September 2004