Edward ROOKER after Paul Sandby
A View of St. James's Gate, from Cleveland Row
21¼ x 15¾ inches
A copper plate engraving by Edward Rooker after the painting by Paul Sandby published in London in 1766 as part of Sandby's "London Views".
This view from 1766, barely changed today, looks east down Pall Mall from outside the entrance to St. James's Palace. Although Paul Sandby is best known for his landscapes he also produced some fascinating images of contemporary London. Many of his scenes are enlivened by figurative detail in the foreground, a device that caused many to criticise his work for being too detailed. In this image we see sedan chairs jostling for space alongside stonemasons; a milkmaid is chatted up by a palace guard and a postman delivers a letter to a smart house in Cleveland Row. As such the scene becomes far more than an architectural record; it becomes a piece of social history. Edward Rooker (c.1712-1774) was a draughtsman and engraver of topographical and architectural views. He lived and worked in London so his most famous work concentrates on the city's landmarks. Paul Sandby (1725-1809), by contrast, revelled in the rural landscape and was one of the first artists to realise the potential of aquatint in reproducing the subtleties of watercolour in print.