A COLLECTION OF WORKS BY JAMES LAWSON STEWART (1829-1911)
James Lawson Stewart was primarily a painter of views of the streets and buildings of the cities where he lived, London and Edinburgh. Some of his London street scenes also appeared as illustrations in Charles Dickens' novels (see lots 705, 709 and 712).
The buildings Lawson Stewart depicted were either drawn from life or after earlier prints and drawings of buildings that had been altered or demolished by his day. This collection provides a record of several once iconic London buildings which no longer exist, such as Old Westminster Palace, destroyed by fire in 1834 (lot 719). The pictures give us an image of a London of contrasts, much altered today, with a more industrialised riverside at Lambeth and Southwark, and yet with a rural feel in areas nearby such as Bermondsey, Peckham and Chelsea.
These watercolours were painted by Stewart in lieu of rent for Park Cottage, Iden, East Sussex to Dr. Mark A MacDonnell, the current vendor's great-great-grandfather and have passed by descent through the family.