As an architect and painter, John MacVicar Anderson specialized in topographical pictures, especially views of London. He exhibited various architectural designs at the Royal Academy between 1856 and 1896. His views of London usually include a view of the Thames and are known for their accurate delineation of the city skyline. Anderson was also responsible for the façade of Christie's, King Street.
The present lot shows a view of the River Thames, looking east over Waterloo Bridge towards St Paul's Cathedral. It is likely that Anderson painted the present work from the footbridge of the Hungerford Railway Bridge, which runs between Charing Cross and Waterloo. Anderson shows figures at work along the river underneath a dramatic sky of billowing clouds and sunlight. Anderson concentrates on the minute details of the buildings and includes a view of Somerset House to the left and St. Pauls Cathedral in the distance.