A View of Blackwall with part of the Dockyard
Hand coloured aquatint. Printed and engrav'd by Robert Dodd. Published March 25 1789 by J[ohn] & J[oseph] Boydell, No 90 Cheapside, London.
Image size: 15 1/4 x 25 3/4 inches, plus title and margins.
Generally good condition throughout, recently professionally conserved. A large vertical tear in the centre of the image has been exertly repaired. Some minor and unobtrusive surface loss in places.
'This view was taken at the Launch of the Bombay Castle, a 74 Gun Ship, Built at the Expence of the Honble. East India Company, and presented by them to his Majesty. Blackwall is the most eminent place on the River Thames, for Building & equipping Ships, for the Service of the Honble. East India Company. The Dockyard has been Consider'd as the East India Yard from the year 1608, and is at this time more spacious than any other private Yard in the Kingdom, or probably in the World, having 7 Launches, fit for Line of Battle Ships, and many have been built there from the Year 1654 to the Year 1784,when four Ships of 74 Guns each, two of 44 Guns, an East India Ship, and a West India Ship were on the Stocks together. There is also Dry Docks for four large Ships, a wet Dock, Mast houses, Store houses and and every other Convenience and an Extensive REope Walk adjoining to it.'
This view of Blackwall is typical of Dodd's work. The liveliness of the scene, with the waving crowds and the sightseers in their jollyboats, is enhanced by his superlatively subtle skyscape. The towers of Greenwich Hospital can be distantly seen across the River.
Robert Dodd (1748-1815) initially embarked upon a career as a landscape painter but subsequently gained a reputation for maritime subjects. Living in Wapping, in close proximity to the dockyards and wharves of the River Thames, he developed an affinity for ships and his works are noted for their meticulous accuracy. He engraved and published over a hundred aquatints of his own work. He exhibited at the Royal Society of Artists in 1780 and the Royal Academy from 1782 to 1809.
£1800.00 mounted in acid-free board