Guest post by the Museum of London

Visiting the Past: The Paintings of John O’Connor

John O’Connor is a relatively unknown artist who was born 12 August 1830, and whose paintings are among the most popular at the Museum of London.

Here we see the Gothic spires of St Pancras, now home of the Eurostar, rising towards a glorious sunset. They tower above the busy crowded thoroughfare of Pentonville Road, filled with workers hurrying home, sandwich board men and omnibuses. A pile of debris bottom right indicates the rubbish which can pile up in everyday life, as opposed to the majesty of the wealth and prosperity of business and technology exemplified by the railways.

O’Connor was an Irishman who trained as a theatre set painter and came to London to work in the highly lucrative theatres painting set designs. His eye for colour and his harmonious designs demonstrate this background.

The Museum of London also has another very popular oil called The Embankment which shows the view from the terrace of Somerset House looking down river to St Paul’s Cathedral and Blackfriars Bridge.

A guest post by Pat Hardy, Curator of Paintings, Prints and Drawings at the Museum of London. More Visiting the Past next week

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