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Panorama: London’s Lost View

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Detail from Pierre Prévost Panorama
Image: courtesy of Museum of London Detail from 'A Panoramic view of London, from the Tower of St. Margaret's Church, Westminster' by Pierre Prévost c. 1815.

Time Out says

This 20-foot painting depicting London in 1815 is a fascinating glimpse of the city’s Regency-era skyline.

Back in 1815, a French artist named Pierre Prévost climbed the tower of St Margaret’s Church in Westminster and started sketching. His speciality was panoramas – epically long landscape paintings, displayed in a rotunda to show a 360-degree view – and this time he was painting London.

Prévost’s 100-foot panorama of the capital was exhibited in Paris, and then lost (whoops). But the 20-foot painting he made as a dry run survived. It was bought last year by the Museum of London for £250,000 and is on public display from March to September 2019.

Prévost’s painting will be mounted flat on the floor, letting visitors walk its length to check out the skyline of Regency London. You’ll see the old Palace of Westminster (destroyed in a fire 19 years later), the original Westminster Bridge, St Paul’s, horse-drawn carriages in Parliament Square and even cows grazing in St James’s Park. Head down and time-travel – without having to worry about cholera, Napoleon or the Corn Laws.

James Manning
Written by
James Manning


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