View of Pont Notre Dame in Paris
  • John Gendall
  • Exe Island 1789 - 1865 Exeter
  • View of Pont Notre Dame in Paris, 1820
  • Watercolour over pencil, on paper, mounted
  • inscribed on the verso with pen and ink: Pont Notre Dame. From pont au Change
  • 182 × 265 mm
Martin Gregory, London (since 1980)
Wallace Collection, London 2013: The Discovery of Paris, Watercolours by early 19th Century British Artists, cat. no. 14, p. 54 (ill.)

John Gendall’s artistic talent was discovered in London by the art dealer and publisher Rudolf Ackermann, who hired the young man in 1811 to provide drawings and watercolours for use as print models. Soon, Gendall was promoted as the printer’s personal assistant, oversaw his private collection, and was allowed to experiment with lithography. Gendall exhibited his works for the first time in 1818 at the Royal Academy.

He also undertook his first trip to Paris in 1820 on Ackermann’s behalf in order to design, together with the Anglo-French painter Augustus Pugin (1762-1832), illustration patterns for the prospective publication of Picturesque Views of the Seine, from Paris to the Sea. This graphic series with 24 plates appeared on the market the following year, and included this watercolour’s corresponding view, which the engraver Thomas Sutherland converted into an aquatint (Fig. 1).

In the center of the image stands a powerful hydraulic water pump, which was added to the Pont Notre Dame in 1670 and taken away only in 1861. Charles Meryon etched the most famous view of this edifice in 1851.