A Prospect of Westminster & A Prospect of the City of London

Johannes Kip Dutch
Publisher Joseph Smith

Not on view

Two engravings, printed from two plates on four sheets, show a prospect of the cities of Westminster and London seen from the south bank of the river Thames. In this dual city view, Kip depicts London and Westminster at a key moment of urban development, when the nation’s capital started to assume the grandeur and cosmopolitan ideals for which it is known today. The dome of Sir Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, finished just ten years earlier, proudly dominates the skyline of the city, and the busy river in the foreground illustrates the importance of trade to the cities’ development. The most important buildings in the two skylines have been numbered and identified in legends printed below.

Kip and his partner Leonard Knyff were arguably the most important topographical printmakers of the era. The fact that the titles were translated into French and Latin as well, reflects the ambitions of the British print market, which no longer just followed and collected what was produced on the Continent, but played an active part in it, and aimed to compete at a level of equal quality.

A Prospect of Westminster & A Prospect of the City of London, Johannes Kip (Dutch, Amsterdam before 1653–1721? London), Two engravings, printed from two plates

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