SOLD Johnson Hedley, 1848-1914.
The Houses of Parliament from the South Thames bank.
Signed, lower right.
Oil on canvas. 36 x 24 cm
Good oil Victorian oil paintings of prime and universally recognisable London scenes are rarely available.
This image depicts the symbol of the centre and origins of modern democracy, St Stephen's Tower, known as housing the bell, "Big Ben" at the Houses of Parliament. The rivercraft, a single funnel paddle steamer, similar to the PS Ben More, and the horse drawn "Omnibus" on Westminster Bridge, date the work to around 1880-90.
One might think that the looseness of style, and emphasis on rendering different areas of light and haze, perhaps owes something to the influence of Whistler and the French Impressionists.
As a known example of steamboats of this period, the PS Ben More was built around 1876 in Scotland, but was used on the Thames in 1884. Ref: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Steam_tug_PS_'Ben_More'_on_River_Thames.jpg