The Image of Britain Part Deux

William L Wyllie had a successful exhibition which made his reputation, calledĀ The Tidal Thames, in 1884, but this etching is from 1924. Presumably he had seen the Monets exhibited in 1903 (see my previous post). Did he rework one of hisĀ Tidal Thames images? Or remember the Monet series?

He has drawn the Parliament much more beautifully than Monet (with two towers, Victoria tower added behind Big Ben), whilst rendering it mistily, like a great idea: the historical framework. In the foreground, solid and dirty, is the industrial present, staffed by straining workers heaving at a monstrous barge. There is a bridge, but otherwise the view is of a maritime democracy, an island at flood tide, just as Monet portrayed us.

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