MALTON, Thomas (1748-1804)
King Street Guildhall
London: T. Malton, 27 February 1783. Aquatint, coloured by hand, by Thomas Malton. Image size (including text): 13 x 18 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 15 1/8 x 22 1/2 inches.
A rare, early aquatint view of London by one of the great early exponents of the art: "My real master was Tom Malton" (J.M.W. Turner)
This view of the Guildhall in King Street, London, shows the work that had been carried out on the south front in 1788-1789 from the designs of George Dance. In addition the colonnade to the west of the facade has been replaced by a brick wall. The church in the center is St. Lawrence Jewry, which was designed by Christopher Wren. The aquatint is a perfect example of the deep, spacious, but highly articulated perspective that Canaletto brought to London mid-century. Thomas Malton the younger, "son of Thomas Malton the elder [1726-1801], was born in 1748, probably in London. He was with his father during the latter's residence in Dublin, and then passed three years in the office of James Gandon, the architect, in London. In 1774 Malton received a premium from the Society of Arts, and in 1782 gained the Academy gold medal for a design for a theatre. In 1773 he sent to the Academy a view of Covent Garden, and was afterwards a constant exhibitor, chiefly of views of London streets and buildings, drawn in Indian ink and tinted; in these... their extreme accuracy in the architectural details renders them of great interest and value as topographical records; they are enlivened with groups of figures, in which Malton is said to have been assisted by F. Wheatley. After leaving Ireland, Malton appears to have always lived in London... and at an evening drawing-class which he held there, received as pupils Thomas Girtin and young J. M. W. Turner, whose father brought him to be taught perspective. In later life Turner often said, My real master was Tom Malton. In 1791 Malton removed to Great Titchfield Street, and finally, in 1796, to Long Acre. He made a few of the drawings for Watts's Seats of the Nobility and Gentry, 1779, &c., and executed some large aquatints of buildings in the metropolis and Bath, being one of the first to avail himself of the newly introduced art of aquatinta for the purpose of multiplying copies of his views." (DNB)
Adams London Illustrated 72.H.