| Toil, glitter, grime and wealth on a flowing tide. © NMM|
Wyllie was born in London and knew the city, its river and port throughout his life.
He painted, drew and etched many aspects of its life over a period of nearly sixty years - from around 1870 well into the 1920s.
He owned and sailed Thames barges. This helped to give him an intimate knowledge of the port, its people and its craft. He even used a barge as his studio, moored in the Pool, from which he made studies.
This is why his famous picture, Toil, glitter, grime and wealth on a flowing tide, painted in 1883, so convincingly conveys the bustle of shipping in the Pool, upon which the city's wealth depended.