This painting depicts the buzz of Billingsgate Market, located in East London. Several marketers are carrying boxes full of fish on top of their heads, others contemplate the scene from the pavement. Billingsgate Fish Market, formally established in 1699, is the largest inland fish market in the United Kingdom and used to be largest fish market in the world during the 19th century. Nowadays, the market is managed by the City of London Corporation and has a large variety of fish and shellfish. The representation of city scenes and a luminous atmosphere are recurrent elements in Ken Howard’s artworks.
Ken Howard is currently based in London. Howard entered the Hornsey School of Art in 1949 and studied at the Royal College of Art from 1955 to 1958. He was awarded a British Council Scholarship, which included a one-year stay in Florence. He is a member of numerous institutions, an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1988 a Royal Academician in 1991 and President of the New English Art Club in 1998 among the last appointments. He started exhibiting his artworks at the Plymouth Art Centre in 1955 and has been exhibited since then also internationally.