Friday, June 13, 2014

Masterpiece of the Week: The Russell Square Puppet Show, 1827

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View of Russell Square with a Puppet Show
Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, 1827
The British Museum

This drawing of pen and brown wash on paper dates to 1827 and is the work of Thomas Hosmer Shepherd. The scene gives us a view of Russell Square with the statue of the Duke of Bedford prominent on the left. 

In the square, a crowd has gathered to watch a puppet show. The bottler draws attention to the show by beating a large drum. His efforts clearly work because we see that a mother will two children are about to join the crowd.

This drawing was once part of the collection of Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford. It gives us a rare topographical representation of a part of London which has changed considerably over time.

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