Old Palace Yard watercolour

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10 January 2009

A watercolour painting of Old Palace Yard by Thomas Malton Jnr joins the collection.

An important addition to the Collection adding to the topographic knowledge of Westminster. It shows the chapel of Henry VII prior to its 19th century restoration and also the row of houses, now demolished, on the west side of Old Palace Yard, one of which was where the William Wilberforce MP lived for five years while he started his campaign to abolish the slave trade.  Charles Barry, architect of the current Palace of Westminster, also used one of the houses as his office while the building was under construction. The watercolour, which is unusually large and detailed, is thought to have been exhibited in the Royal Gallery in 1796 and at one time was owned by Gurney Salter, shorthand writer to the Houses of Parliament.


Thomas Malton the younger (1748-1804) was an architectural draughtsman best known for his careful drawings of London buildings and first exhibited in London in 1768. The son of Thomas Malton the Elder, also an architectural artist, Malton the younger studied under J Gandon and entered the Royal Academy Schools winning silver and gold for architecture. During the 1780’s Malton worked as an architectural draughtsman as well as running drawing classes, he taught amongst others the young J M W Turner before Turner himself entered the Royal Academy Schools.



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