VIEW OF NORTHUMBERLAND HOUSE, CHARING CROSS, LONDON
ATTRIBUTED TO J PAUL Working from 1820
Oil on canvas 24 ½ x 31 inches Framed size 30 x 36 ½ inches
Much mystery and intrigue surround’s the life and career of this painter and his studio.It seems fairly certain that he started life in Norwich where his father Robert was a painter of landscapes.It is never quite clear as to whether he is the artist Joseph Paul or not.Most stories about his life seem to concur that he got into trouble with the authorities after a pub brawl in Norwich and he fled to London. He seems to have used his brush to earn living painting replicas of Canaletto and Samuel Scott’s views of London, which have always been in high demand.By 1840, it is said that Paul had set up as a dealer with an Art shop in Cheapside. There are various anecdotes about famous artists passing his shop window and seeing their work replicated.Possibly apocryphal, but it is said that Turner passed the shop and saw three of his subjects all melded into one canvas! It is said that he had a son who worked with him and continued the “the family firm” of producing these famous and popular views after his father’s death.What is certain, is that his (and his sons work) are very easy to spot and accurately attribute, due to the very particular way they are painted.
It is said he had five wives and despite an appetite for drink, lived into his 80’s.
Bibl: British Landscape Painters M.H. Grant Vol 5 East Anglian Painters - Harold Day
This painting is after the original by Canaletto in Alnwick Castle.