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Charles-François Daubigny, St Paul's from the Surrey Side

Key facts
Full title St Paul's from the Surrey Side
Artist Charles-François Daubigny
Artist dates 1817 - 1878
Date made about 1870-3
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 44.5 × 81 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by friends of Mr. J.C.J. Drucker, 1912
Inventory number NG2876
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
St Paul's from the Surrey Side
Charles-François Daubigny

The shadowy dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is viewed from the south bank of the Thames. Just to the front of the cathedral the newly built Blackfriars Bridge straddles the river; behind it a train, invisible but for its plume of smoke, passes over Blackfriars Railway Bridge. The leaden sky is heavily painted in creams, greys and dirty pinks. Smoke coming from the train, the chimney on the left and the boats on the river appears to mingle with the clouds.

Daubigny painted this view on his third and longest visit to London. A refugee from the Franco-Prussian war, he arrived in October 1870 and stayed until May 1871. While it is dated 1873, after Daubigny’s return to France, it is likely that he started the work in London in 1870 or 1871, and finished it back home, at which point he signed and dated it.

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