Daniel Crouch Rare Books recently published three ‘alphabetically themed’ catalogues online titled M is for Mapmaker, T is for Tradecard and L is for London. The most recent, L is for London, includes a view of the first Blackfriars Bridge under construction by Italian artist Gianbattista Piranesi (1720-78).
The artist is remembered for his depictions of Rome and fantasy prisons (particularly after the publication of Susanna Clarke’s fantasy novel Piranesi in 2020). In the 1750s he met the young Scottish architect Robert Mylne, who came to study under him in Italy.
Several years later, Mylne won a competition to build a third bridge over the Thames in London. He sent his mentor a drawing of the work in progress and Piranesi responded with a copper plate of professional quality sent back to London where Mylne had it published.
This print, 16in x 2ft (40 x 60cm), is offered for £1000.
The catalogue also offers a range of material on the capital including a selection of Frost Fair prints, large-scale plans of the boroughs and the first depiction of Elizabeth I as queen.