The three-day riots were triggered by the voting down of the second Reform Bill in the House of Lords and the arrival of the anti-reform judge Charles Wetherell in Bristol on October 29. Much of the city centre was burnt, causing around £300,000 of damage and up to 250 casualties.
Painted by James Baker Pyne (1800-70), the 5 x 3½in (13 x 9cm) oil on canvas forms part of an exhibition at London gallery Guy Peppiatt Fine Art in St James’s dedicated to the early 19th century group of artists known as the Bristol School. It is priced at £4500.
Among the 38 works in the show, which runs until October 6, five are by Samuel Jackson (1794-1869) and over a dozen by WJ Müller (1812- 45), two of the best-known artists in the group, together with pictures by Francis Danby, James Johnson and Even Rowbotham among others.
The Bristol School artists were drawn to the bustling trading port where the intellectual climate, urban life and striking natural settings inspired their distinct yet largely overlooked contribution to British art. Recognition is growing, however, with the group the focus of a current exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux.