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The Fire of London, September 1666

Photo credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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An imaginary account of the Fire of London from the River Thames. Painted about 100 years after the event, the view looks up river towards the Pool of London with the Tower in the right foreground. The city is alight and in the background London Bridge is ablaze, its arches highlighted against the conflagration. The road is packed with people escaping from the flames and many of them are shown boarding boats in an attempt to escape the inferno. The artist has captured the sense of drama and panic with the fleeing figures in the foreground amidst wagon wheels and barrels. The picture aims for dramatic effect rather than accuracy. It is possible that the artist had never visited London, since the buildings, such as the Tower of London on the right, are not closely or accurately observed.

National Maritime Museum



18th C


oil on panel


H 48.5 x W 75 cm

Accession number


Work type



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National Maritime Museum

Romney Road, Greenwich, London, Greater London SE10 9NF England

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