View of Blackfriars Bridge and the City from Lambeth. The City's wharves are seen through the Portland Stone elliptical arches while St. Paul stands out in the background. At the north end are the buildings of New Bridge Street and the spire of St Martin Ludgate. In the centre of the picture, a wherry conveys passengers and their belongings downriver. Robert Mylne won the competition to design London's third masonry bridge in 1760. Completed in 1769, the Italian-inspired bridge was officially named after William Pitt but it was commonly called Blackfriars Bridge. The toll gates were broken down by the Gordon rioters in 1780 as the bridge charged highly unpopular tolls. The demolition of old London Bridge increased the flow of the river under Blackfriars Bridge, weakinging it. It therefore had to be replaced with the current iron and granite bridge built between 1860 and 1869.
William Marlow was influenced by Canaletto and Samuel Scott, his master. Among his numerous London subjects, he painted pairings of the subject with canvases of Westminster Bridge and several Blackfriar Bridge views like this one; an oval version is also in the collection.


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