Paintings of London City: Victorian Age

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Samuel Johnson. 

The Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament
seen from Parliament Square Watercolour 

John Crowther (1837–1902)
Yes, no one would be tired of roaming the streets of London. The city had its charm. And that charm was made immortal by some great artists of the world. Here are some paintings which would assist us to believe that the city is full of life. 

These paintings are done in the eighteenth century. The monuments are painted as seen by the artists who painted them. Let us see how they saw these buildings. Let us have glimpses of the charm of the city as it was before one hundred years.

Look at this building. You can call it Westminster, but the world knows it as the house of parliament. Here it is a part of the big complex. It is called the Victoria Tower of the House of Parliament. If we see this tower from Parliament Square, it would look like this. At least it looked like this in the year 1893 when the artist John Crowther painted it.

View of the Junction of Howard Street and Norfolk Street,
London, 1880 
John Crowther 
The artist John Crowther (1837-1902) of this painting was a British citizen. Hew painted in watercolours. He had painted at least 700 paintings of the interior of the city of London.  Look at another painting he painted.  

In fact, John Crowther was commissioned to record the state of the buildings which were historically important and which were being damaged due to the rapid urbanization of the Victorian age. 

Here what we see is the junction of two streets. Howard Street and Northfolk Street were the heart of the city of London for 200 years or so. We can see the style of the street plan, the footpath position and the shops facing the market. It was similar to the other cities in England. Since industrialization was started, the European cities had started doing a face-lift for the cities. However, the above scene is also demolished for re-developed in the twentieth century. 

King Street, Stepney, London John Crowther
Now, let us enter the life of the common people. Here is the street wherein the real people, the ordinary citizens of the city lived. 

Here the artist had entered the life of the men and women who inhabited the city in the time when the great British Queen Victoria reigned half of the world.

The city had become the centre of world trade. The trading companies of The British Empire were ruling over the major parts of Africa and South Asia. India was known as the jewel of the British Crown.

it was the time when the steamers from British ports were exporting their products to the poor nations of Asia and Africa. These nations had not tasted the fruits of industrialization yet.

Piccadilly Circus  George Hyde Pownall

It was the time when the woods cut from the South Asian nations were used to decorate the homes in London and England. The boots and bayonets of the British Empire were in charge of the fate of the people who were ruled by the man or woman sitting on the throne of England. The sophistication that was seen in the life of the people of England, as represented in the above paintings, was the direct result of the wealth created by the people of England, by trade and commerce.

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