PortCities London

Picturing the 18th-century port

The Royal George at Deptford showing the launch of the Cambridge.
View full size imageThe Royal George at Deptford, showing the launch of the Cambridge. © NMM

During the 18th century, the visual image of the Thames in paintings and prints became increasingly complex.  The work of artists reflected the great changes in London as the city grew into a major port and the centre of a commercial empire. 

The Cleveley family, for example, were artists brought up and employed in the dockyards at Deptford.  Their paintings celebrated the shipbuilding and naval power that were key elements in the maritime success of London's trading community. 

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