chapter  9
14 Pages

Painting the Town

Portrayals of Change in Urban Riversides, London and the Thames, a Case Study
WithKemille S. Moore

During the second half of the nineteenth century, the city of London underwent significant changes in infrastructure and the creation of space. Significantly, the embankments also changed how women moved through this part of London. Numerous artists captured the new expanses of open space and movement created by the embankments in their paintings. In considering the changes in London's infrastructure and the very nature of its public space in the second half of the nineteenth century, it is important to understand how rapidly London was growing and how large a city it had become by 1900. When viewed from a civil engineering perspective, the goals of the embankments projects focused on cleaning up the Thames River and providing new avenues of transportation. Victorian painters, aware of the significance of the novel use of space along the new embankments, emphasised and captured these cultural shifts in their paintings.