The millions of images in our collections are testament to the allure of London as a subject for artists – its buildings, traditions and its people. London – Portrait of a City explores the formats chosen by artists and surveyors to create images of the city since the eleventh century. From simple wax seals to intricate engravings, from watercolours to digital prints, the images on display celebrate the visual history of one of the great cities of the world and the extraordinary skill required to create the works we preserve today as a record of London.
The exhibition is arranged by image making technique, which we illustrate with some of the best examples from our collections. While it isn’t possible here to present every one of the vast number of techniques encountered when browsing the archives, the selection on display provides a good introduction.
These images are just a small selection of the millions of photographs, prints and drawings of London waiting to be discovered in our collections. Whether you’re inspired to create your own artwork, or you’d just like to see more, our Mediatheque is a great place to delve further into the visual history of the capital.
Open: Monday 9.30-4.45 (closed bank holidays). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30-7.30. Friday closed