- Museum number
View of Beaufort Buildings, looking towards the Strand; with figures walking along the pavement including a woman selling vegetables from baskets on her head and on her arm, and a chair-mender carrying a rushes and a chair
Watercolour, with pen and grey ink
- Production date
Height: 456 millimetres
Width: 618 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- LB attributes this to Paul Sandby, but it is probably a joint work with Thomas Sandby who would have been responsible for the architectural elements. Some of the figures appear elsewhere in Paul Sandby's work.
Beaufort Buildings was created by the Duke of Beaufort in the early 1680s on the site of his riverside mansion, Worcester House to the south of the Strand. In the mid 18th century Tobias Smollett and Thomas Arne lived there.
The scientific instrument maker Jonathan Sisson had a shop at the corner of Beaufort Buildings with an observatory in the garret; the apparatus on the roof of the building to the left of centre is clearly related to this observatory (information from Alex Werner, Museum of London, 14.i.2005)
It was in his capacity as an architect that Thomas Sandby was among the founder members of the Royal Academy in 1768, and was from its inception Professor of Architecture. His architectural drawings have an attractiveness of precise line, sharp contour, flat wash, clearly defined shadows and finely drawn detail which, combined with picturesque incident in the depiction of figures (often supplied by his brother Paul) distinguishes them from the works of most of his contemporaries. The detailed observation of architectural detail, and the clear precision with which light and shade is depicted in 1880,1113.2854 is extremely effective. A characteristic of his work demonstrated in Stainton 1985, cat. no. 14 was the frequency of unfinished repetitions of certain compositions, with some parts of a drawing fully elaborated and other areas left blank, suggesting to Paul Oppé ('The Drawings of Paul and Thomas Sandby at Windsor Castle', 1947, p. 12) "either idleness or an amateurish diffidence which caused him to discontinue his work". There are numerous variants of views of the Covent Garden Piazza; this example probably dates from the mid-1760s - save for details of the figures it is close to Edward Rooker's engraving of the subject after Thomas Sandby published in the six London views of 1766.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1985, BM, British Landscape Watercolours, no.15
2003 May-Nov, BM, London 1753, no. 3.70
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number