|Complete collection of drawings from the 1872 classic by France's most celebrated graphic artist. An historically valuable collection of views from the Victorian period, not just focussing on upper class society, but also providing a unique and generous record of life in poverty and hard work during the period.
In many ways this is almost a visual companion to Mayhews "London Labour" - descriptions of the workers of the period. Dore romanticised but also rendered the truth in scenes of docks, markets, slums, prisons, the river, characters and occupations.
Included are amazingly perceptive sketches of workaday London, busy marketplaces, the Christy Minstrels, thieves gambling, the Devil's Acre in Westminster, flower girls, waifs and strays, a wedding at the Abbey, prisoners in the Newgate exercise yard (famously interpreted by Van Gogh), and many other evocative scenes.
The London fog, the early morning at a coffee stall, A garden party at Holland House, and London in the season, contrasted with Bluegate fields or Dudley Street Seven Dials where second hand shoes are for sale on the pavements outside the tenements. The hustle and bustle of "Ludgate Hill" where horse and human traffic blocks the street, "Over London - By Rail" where the endlessly repeating terraces bespeak the rapid developement of the Victorian City, Crowds at the Penny theatre, Blondin at Shoreditch, Hampstead Heath as the sun sets, Limehouse dock, the City of London, riverside...
The wonder of the book is the way Dore found the sublime and the beautiful in industrial London with nights scenes, hazes, weariness on faces, flames in the darkness and the rush of crowds and races filling the collection.
This has been a key visual resource for book illustrators and theatrical set designers looking for reference for working class London of the time.
Other scenes include: The Great Tree - Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park Corner, London Zoo (Zoological gardens), Bishopgate Street, The Monument to George Peabody, The Royal Exchange, Coulston Street, Wentworth Street Whitechapel, Jewish butchers, Old Clothesmen and potato sellers, flower girls, Hounsditch, Mixing malt in breweries, a classic image of St Pauls, Petticoat Lane, opium smoking "The Lascars Room in "Edwin Drood", Ratcliff, Columbia market scene, New Cut market, Gloucester Street, Covent Garden in the early morning light, Billingsgate and Borough Markets.
Summary : fascinating for London local history, the history of graphic art, and inspiration for artists. Evocative and beautiful.
Illustrations: 179 engravings
Size: large format
Copyright: Permission Free
ISBN 13: 9780486432724
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