View of the City of Bristol
Artist and engraver: Hassell, John
A view from the river of the city of Bristol. A trading and industrial city, Bristol's population increased rapidly from about 25,000 in 1700, to 50,000 by 1750, to 68,000 by 1801. During the Georgian period the city received many new public buildings, including the Bristol Royal infirmary in 1737, the Corn Exchange in 1743, the Theatre Royal in 1766 and a new bridge. Daniel Defoe thought Bristol was "the richest, and the best port of trade in Great Britain, London only excepted ... The merchants of this city not only have the greatest trade, but they trade with more entire independency upon London, than any other town in Britain". The artist is John Hassell (1767-1825), an engraver and drawing master who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1789.