London from the North, by J. Swertner, 1789
issued as an extra publication to mark the Society’s centenary year, 1980.
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Accompanied by an index of 140 references with the note ‘Published as the Direct Act by I. Swertner Augt. 1st 1789’. Jan Swertner, born in Harlem in the Netherlands in 1746, was a Moravian minister who referred to himself as ‘one not professionally an artist’. The prospect, however, is highly professional and, with regards to the selection of its viewpoint, novel. After much “Trial and Search” Swertner discovered the lantern of St. Mary Islington from which to make his drawings. From here the townscape was free of foreground detail, showing the northern suburbs at a time of change and development.