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Samuel Scott, 1701/2–1772

Arches of Westminster Bridge

Former Title(s):

Westminster Bridge

ca. 1750
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
42 3/4 × 47 3/4 inches (108.6 × 121.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
arches | architectural subject | baskets | bathers | boats | bridge (built work) | buildings | city | cityscape | costume | drinking | food | genre subject | leisure | men | nude | pipe | platform | river | smoking (activity) | swimmers | swimming | tankard | women
Associated Places:
City of Westminster | England | Greater London | London | Thames | United Kingdom | Westminster | Westminster bridge
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

In this daring composition, Samuel Scott puts the viewer in the position of a traveler on the river Thames about to pass under the arches of the newly finished Westminster Bridge. Scott was the first British-born artist to specialize in marine painting, basing his early style on the Dutch tradition that was established in Britain by the Van de Velde family. But when Canaletto arrived in London in 1746, Scott began emulating the Venetian artist’s style in his own views of the Thames. Canaletto had recently painted a celebrated view of London from under the arches of Westminster Bridge for the Duke of Northumberland, and this painting by Scott suggests an attempt to rival Canaletto but also to emphasize the engineering marvel of the bridge rather than offering a sweeping view of City of London. The composition was very popular, and it survives today in several different versions.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Painting in England 1700-1850 - From The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (Yale University Art Gallery, 1965-04-15 - 1965-06-20) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Art News in Pictures, Connoisseur, 174, London, July 1970, p. 211, N1 +C75 174 (YCBA) [YCBA]

British art: an illustrated souvenir of the exhibition of British art at the Royal Academy of Arts, London: Winter Exhibition: 1934, , , W. Clowes and sons, London, 1934, p. 31, cat. 252, J642 934L (LSF) Also available online at https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/exhibition-catalogue/1934-illustrated-souvenir-of-the-exhibition-of-british-art-c-1000-1860?all_fields=&commit=Search&date=1934&form=exhibition_catalogues [ORBIS]

Commemorative catalogue of the exhibition of British art, Royal academy of arts, London, January-March 1934., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935, p. 26, cat. 83, N6761 L651 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 198-199, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Elizabeth Einberg, The age of Hogarth, British painters born 1675-1709 , vol. 2, Tate Gallery, London, 1988, pp. 188-90, 192, ND466 T38 1988 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Markman Ellis, River and Labour in Samuel Scott's Thames Views in the Mid-Eighteenth Century, London Journal, vol. 37, November 2012, pp. 167,170, fig. 8, Available online : ORBIS (in Taylor $ Francis Online) [ORBIS]

Exhibition of British art, c. 1000-1860 : full catalogue [of the Winter Exhibition held on January 6-March 10, 1934]., , , Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1934, p. 108, cat. 252, N6761 L65 (YCBA) Also available on line [Royal Academy] and on mictofiche [B 162 (YCBA)] [YCBA]

Luke Herrmann, British landscape painting of the eighteenth century., Faber & Faber, London, 1973, p. 32, pl. 22, ND1354.4 H47 1973 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Richard Kingzett, Catalogue of the Works of Samuel Scott, Volume of the Walpole Society, vol. 48, Walpole Society, Oxford, 1982, pp. 62-63, 63-64, D, N12 W35 A1 48+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

J. G. Links, Canaletto and England, Apollo, 139, London, December 1993, p. 405, N1 +A54 139 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 : collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon : Exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, , 1,2, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 42 (v.1), no. 12, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p. 11 (v.1)..., no. 30, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Harley Preston, London and the Thames ; Paintings of Three Centuries, , National Maritime Museum, London, 1977, cat. 27, N8214.5 G7 P74 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon : [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965, , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, p. 43 (v.1), no. 159, pl. 58, ND466 Y35 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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