© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

View from Greenwich observatory to the North-West

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From the Collection


A view from the Observatory at Greenwich, to the north and east (rather than north-west). It shows some topographical licence or deliberate exclusion, notably the absence of the Greenwich Hospital domes in the middle ground, where a ship's sails protrude above the low wall. Blackwall, with Perry's shipyard on the east side of the Isle of Dogs, seems to have become an isolated country village backed by higher ground than exists. The river itself also looks too shallow and shoaled, with unusually positioned ships. The building on the left is the east turret of Flamsteed House, with a now vanished extension on the viewer's (south) side. This connects to a wall and gate running back out of the frame and enclosing a much smaller yard than now exists. A drawing by John Charnock of about the same period, also in the NMM collection, shows the arrangement more exactly from the east, including the ruinous wall where the figures stand here. A similar arangement is also seen in Rigaud's print of 1736, PAI709. While therefore slightly idealized, this is a fine example of a watercolour by Dayes (1763-1804) and is signed by him.

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© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World


Greenwich, London, England