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1861 Sulman Panoramic Bird's Eye View of London

London from the south side of the Thames. - Main View

1861 Sulman Panoramic Bird's Eye View of London


Extraordinary panoramic view of London.


London from the south side of the Thames.
  1861 (dated)     22 x 53 in (55.88 x 134.62 cm)


An impressive panoramic bird's-eye view of London, England as seen from the south side of the Thames River. The view centers on St. Paul's cathedral with the Thames just below it stretching across the entire canvas. It extends from Millbank to St Catharine's Dock. Westminster Abby and Hyde Park are prominent at left. In the foreground we can see Kennington Park. Originally, the engraving came with a smaller key map, identifying some 263 individual buildings. The key is visible on some library websites, but is not included with this view.

This view was drawn from a balloon by Thomas Sulman and engraved by Robert Loudan Sr. for publication as a supplement to the February 9, 1861 issue of the Illustrated London News.


Thomas Sulman (c.1834 – 1900) was an English architectural draftsman. Sulman studied at The Working Men’s College between 1854 and 1858, where he was a student of, and later an engraver for, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He is best known for using balloons to capture birds-eye views of various cities including London, Oxford, Glasgow and New York. Most of his view were issued in association with the Illustrated London News and engraved by Robert Loudan Sr. In 1891 he produced high-level views of major London thoroughfares for Herbert Fry's London: Illustrated by Twenty Bird's Eye Views of the Principal Streets. These were engraved by George William Ruffle (1838–1901). In addition, Sulman prepared graphics for newspaper and magazine advertisements. More by this mapmaker...

Robert Loudan (fl. 1855 – 1895) was a prominent London woodcut engraver active in the middle part of the 19th century. Most of Loudan's work is associated with the Illustrated London News. His most prominent engravings were woodcuts based upon Thomas Sulman's dramatic balloon bird's-eye views of English and American cities. Considering the prominence of his work, it is surprising just how little biographical information exists. We know almost nothing of Loudan's life, education, or character. Learn More...

Illustrated London News (1842 - 1971) was one of the world's first weekly news magazines It was first published by Herbert Ingram and Mark Lemon (of Punch fame) in 1842. The lavishly illustrated magazine slowly gained popularity and continued to be published on a weekly basis until 1971. Today the Illustrated London News is the Illustrated London News Group and publishes bi-annually. Learn More...


Illustrated London News, February 9, 1816.    


Good. Backed on archival tissue. Minor wear along original fold lines with slight loss at fold intersection just east of Westminster Bridge.


Boston Public Library, Leventhal Center, G5754.L7A3 1861 .S85.