South-east view of Bridge North in Shropshire
Medium: Ink wash on paper
A view of Bridgnorth in Shropshire, showing agricultural produce being loaded onto barges. Bridgnorth is a hill town, lying on a sandstone ridge rising from the bank of the River Severn. The town prospered during the 18th century because of its cap and hat-making industry and river trade. The bridge in the picture was replaced by a new one in 1823.
The artist, Paul Sandby (1725-1809), was one of the most influential English watercolour artists of his time. As a young man he was trained in the draughtsmenship of military maps and plans at the Tower of London. He was appointed draughtsmen to the Board of Ordnance's survey of the Highlands in 1746. His early watercolours show much of the neatness and careful observation instilled in him from his military training. In this view he shows great attention to detail recording the townscape and the slightly caricatured and amusing images of the townsfolk.