London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom is one of the largest and most important cities in the world. The ancient Romans founded a port and trading settlement called Londinium in 43 AD and a few years later a bridge was constructed across the Thames to facilitate commerce.
During the reign of William the Conqueror the Tower of London was built and in 1176 a wooden London Bridge was replaced by a bridge of stone. By the time Henry VIII was king the population of London was at least 100,000.
Canaletto, The Thames And The City 1746/1747
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Many artists have captured London and its historical landmarks. Claude Monet captured the Houses of Parliament. Camille Pissaro The Charing Cross Bridge. George Hyde Pownall imagined Piccadilly Circus and Caneletto captured The Thames and The City.
Camille Pissaro The Charing Cross Bridge, 1890
Because of its illustrious history the City of London has grown into a powerhouse metropolitan area. A city that is known for its relationship with the arts, and it is here where the painter Theo Michael acquired his sense of an aesthetic. One day in Swiss Cottage he noticed a picture of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and had to have it.
Many years later in 2004 Theo visited an Edward Hopper retrospective at the Tate Modern in London and this inspired him to take up painting full time. It wasn’t just the quality of the painting, or the realism, in Hopper’s work, it was also the atmosphere and noir style on display that really spoke to Theo’s inner creativity. When Theo began painting it was always clear that London would play a big role as part of his visual repertoire.
Theo’s latest London landmark painting features the magnificent Big Ben looming across the urban skyline. In the painting the enormous clock tower hovers in the background, contrasting the painting with a sense of perspective as an assortment of passers by make their way along the wet pavement. An elegant office worker rides her bicycle in the rain and Theo’s signature private eye is smoking a cigarette in front of an old telephone box. Two double decker buses are gliding down the street towards Trafalgar Square on a typically busy day in the capital of Great Britain.