In the 1750s Marlow was a pupil of the foremost native topographical painter of his day, Samuel Scott. His style owes a great deal to that of his master, and also to Canaletto, whose works he would have known. Painted very much in Scott's manner, the picture most probably dates from the mid-1770s when Marlow was living in Twickenham, in the house previously occupied by Scott.
The view is taken from the lower slopes of Richmond Hill, looking across the River Thames towards the village of Twickenham. To the far right, between the trees, is Cambridge House, once the seat of the Archdeacon of Cambridge. In front, beyond the man carrying a scythe, is a group of late seventeenth-century houses. Between the two trees on the left, in the far distance, can be seen the park of Marble Hill. The building in the foreground, which was later known as Lansdowne House, when it was owned by the Marquess of Lansdowne in the 1820s, was built in the middle of the eighteenth century by Edward Collins, a Richmond brewer. It was let to Lord Sefton in the 1770s and to the Earl of Leicester, later the Marquess Townshend from the mid-1790s.
We are grateful to Michael Liversidge for endorsing the attribution to William Marlow.
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