Artwork - The Palace of Westminster on Fire, 16th October 1834

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  • Title: The Palace of Westminster on Fire, 16th October 1834
  • Artist: William Grieve
  • Date: 1834--
  • Medium: Watercolour
  • Categories: Buildings
  • Catalogue number: WOA 1054
  • Description: This watercolour is by William Grieve, a stage designer at Covent Garden Theatre. In the weeks following the fire that destroyed Parliament in October 1834 the enterprising seized on the commercial opportunities provided by this great national calamity. As well as the many cheap prints of the fire which circulated, souvenirs were created out of salvaged stone, lead and wood from the destroyed buildings. A number of stage representations and dioramas (a kind of nineteenth century virtual reality show) of the fire were advertised in the newspapers. This drawing by William Grieve bears all the hallmarks of his profession. Indeed, it may even have been based on a theatrical set, or intended as a design for one.
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