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    Sale 5880

    Victorian and British Impressionist Pictures including Drawings and Watercolours

    22 July 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 172

    Robert Dudley (fl. 1865-1891)

    Temple Bar

    Price Realised  


    Robert Dudley (fl. 1865-1891)
    Temple Bar
    signed 'Robert Dudley' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    40 x 30¼ in. (101.6 x 76.8 cm.)

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    Temple Bar is the only surviving gateway to the City of London. It was originally situated where Fleet Street now meets the Strand, deriving it's name from it's location next to Temple law courts. The gate is referenced as early as 1293 but the Portland stone arch depicted by Dudley was not erected until 1672 and was reputedly designed by Christopher Wren following the Great fire of London. As well as acting as a stage with which to display the heads and other body parts of traitors, the gate is probably most renowned for the ceremony, still performed today, which involves the monarch stopping to request permission to enter the City and the Lord Mayor presenting the Sword of State as a sign of loyalty. The gate was dismantled in 1878 to ease traffic and congestion and the stones were put into storage until the gate could be re-erected somewhere else. However in 1880 Sir Henry Meux, the brewer, bought the stones and used the gateway as the entrance to his park and mansion at Theobalds Park. The gate became out of use during the second half of the twentieth century following the transformation of Theobalds park to a conference centre and it wasn't until the creation of the Temple Bar Trust in 1976 that there was any intention of bringing the stones back to London. Finally in 2004 Temple Bar was rebuilt at it's present location next to Paternoster Square, adjacent to St Paul's Cathedral.

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