Christopher Wren’s Plan For Rebuilding The City Of London

Christopher Wren’s Plan For Rebuilding The City Of London

This fascinating 18th-century engraving based upon Christopher Wren’s intriguing plan to rebuild London after the Great Fire of 1666.

Wren presented his ideas to Charles II shortly after the Fire had destroyed most of the City. His ambitious vision involved creating impressively wide streets and grand piazzas, which were more akin to Paris than ramshackle London. He had previously studied the street system in the French capital along with Rome and was excited about its potential.

Alas, his plan was not approved due to complex land ownership issues and limited funding - with London predominantly rebuilt over its existing footprint.

This engraving was published in 1767 as part of ‘A New Collection of Voyages, Discoveries and Travels’ by John Knox.

Medium: Engraving on paper
Overall size: 19½” x 14” / 50cm x 36cm
Year of creation: 1767
Provenance: England
Condition: Various signs of wear including some foxing and creasing.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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