George Sidney Shepherd (British 1784-1862)
St. Saviour’s Church, Southwark, London
Signed and dated l.c.: Geo. Sidney Shepherd 1836, watercolour over traces of pencil with gum arabic, touches of bodycolour and scratching out, on card
31.3 x 43 cm
This church was known as St. Mary Overy's until 1540. In 1904 it became the Cathedral church of the Diocese of Southwark. Construction in the foreground resulted in the building of a new churchyard wall with a railing and a further wall which is seen half built in the present watercolour. The wall of present day’s St Thomas’s hospital can be seen on the left of the composition.
George Sidney Shepherd, the eldest son, was a member of a talented family of London topographers. Throughout his career Shepherd was patronised by the celebrated interior designer, Frederick Crace, who became equally famous as a collector of views and maps of London. Crace commissioned him to produce watercolours of London buildings and locations, and also bought others from him. The fame of the Crace Collection acted as a springboard for Shepherd’s career, as he began to receive commissions from others, including Rudolph Ackermann. From around the time of its foundation in 1809, until its demise in 1828, Shepherd produced a series of street views for Ackermann’s magazine, ‘The Repository of Arts’, sometimes in collaboration with his younger brother, Thomas Hosmer Shepherd.
The Crace Collection in the British Museum contains nearly 500 images by Shepherd, including 38 views of ‘Edinburgh for Modern Athens!’. His work is also represented in many other public collections, including Kensington & Chelsea Library and the V&A.