Modena 1700 – 1777 Naples
oil on canvas
15 by 28 in.; 38 by 71 cm.


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Possibly William Herbert, 2nd Marquis of Powis (c.1660 – 1745), Hendon Hall;
Possibly David Garrick (1717 – 1779), who acquired Hendon Hall circa 1756 and by descent to his nephew the Rev. Carrington Garrick (1752 – 1787);
Possibly John Bond (d.1801), who bought Hendon Hall in 1790;
Possibly Brian Scotney, who bought Hendon Hall in 1822; Samuel Ware, who acquired Hendon Hall circa 1825;
By descent to his nephew Charles Cumberlege-Warre (1807-1888) and thence by descent to a private collector;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 30 November 2000, lot 5;
With Richard Green, London;
From whom acquired by the present owner.

Listed in a manuscript catalogue of the Hendon Hall collection, circa 1850, no. 44;
R. Toledano, Antonio Joli, Turin 2006, p. 225, cat. no. L.II.8, reproduced.

This beautiful panoramic view of London, looking across the Thames from the south-west towards St. Paul’s Cathedral, was painted by Antonio Joli shortly after the artist’s arrival in England in 1744. The view shows the newly restored and rebuilt London, following the Great Fire of 1666, with its breathtaking new cathedral and unparalleled skyline of churches by Sir Christopher Wren. The artist has deliberately taken a high viewpoint, thus being able to include a remarkable amount of topographical detail to record the appearance of the great capital city.

Clustered around Wren’s masterpiece St Paul's, completed in 1710, are a myriad of church towers, which include those of St. Bride's Fleet Street and St. Martin's Ludgate, both to the left of St. Paul's, and those of St. Mary le Bow and St. Christopher, immediately to the right of the cathedral. The forest of spires visible beyond include among others, those of St. Michael Cornhill, St. Dunstan's-in-the-East, St. Magnus, and St. Clement Eastcheap. On the right is the great Doric Column of the Monument, built by Wren at the precise location where the Great Fire started on 2nd September 1666 to commemorate the tumultuous event. Close by, spanning the River Thames, is Old London Bridge, by the date of this picture already over six hundred years old and providing a link with the Medieval City of London before the Great Fire. Built between 1176 and 1209, it was the only masonry bridge across the Thames until Westminster Bridge was completed in 1750, although already by the date of Joli’s painting its future was under discussion, leading to its eventual demolition during the 1820s. At the right of the bridge can be seen the tower of the Church of St Mary’s Overy and in the far distance the impressive structure of the Tower of London. On the extreme left of the scene is the terrace and Watergate of Somerset House, with its stone stairs leading directly down to the Thames.

Joli arrived in London in 1744, several years before his celebrated kinsman and rival, Canaletto. He was clearly inspired by the freshness and air of optimism he found and produced a number of ravishing views of London showing the Thames bustling with activity, and bearing elaborate and ornamental barges, lending a distinctly Venetian feeling to this most quintessential English view. Joli's English patrons included Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, for Chesterfield House, and John Lord Brudenell, for whom he painted a large set of views of towns which he had visited on the Grand Tour. Both Joli and Canaletto enjoyed the patronage of Charles, 2nd Duke of Richmond, who commissioned from Joli a 'View of St Paul's….a beautiful picture and veramente di buon gusto' in 1744, prior to Canaletto's superb painting of the same view.

The present painting came from the celebrated collection at Hendon Hall, an early Georgian house located in the North West of London which was sold by the executors of William, Marquis of Powis, in 1756. The buyer was James Clutterbuck, a financier, who acquired the house for his friend David Garrick. Though his memorial was erected at Hendon, Garrick apparently never lived there, but he did arrange for his nephew the Rev. Carrington Garrick to occupy the house at Hendon, and Hendon Hall and its estate was left on trust for him upon Garrick's death. It is tempting to suggest that this view by Joli was commissioned or acquired by Garrick but it is more likely that the substantial collection of pictures at Hendon Hall was collected in the early nineteenth century by Charles Cumberlege-Warre, nephew of a later owner, Samuel Ware. An 1850 manuscript catalogue of the collection listed over two hundred paintings and sculptures, including the present work, and Frederick Earp supplied watercolour illustrations of most items. Probably the most celebrated painting in the collection was a ceiling by Tiepolo which was acquired from the Wrightson Collection by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The collection covered a wide range of artists including Veronese, Reni, Hals, Giordano, Guardi, Vernet, and another work by Joli depicting Paestum.

Dr. Ralph Toledano dates the present work on stylistic grounds to shortly after Joli’s arrival in London in 1744. He tentatively proposes that it might have formed a pair with a View of Westminster Bridge by the artist formerly in the collection of Lord Moyne and last recorded with Leonard Koetser, London, in 1967.

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