Oil on canvas by J.Baker
Since opening in 1894, the ironclad structure, covered by Portland stone, has played a starring role in hundreds of artworks. This particular oil on canvas is in a much more vibrant colour scheme than the poster designed by John Minton which can be viewed by following the link below.
The original poster was designed by John Minton to promote pleasure trips to the Thames. The image depicts a Thames scene; Tower Bridge is the only feature that remains the same. In the early 1960s the cranes and lighters began to disappear as the Port of London went into decline. The warehouse buildings that survived have been converted into bars, restaurants and luxury apartments.
1950s and 1960s: An artistic approach
Household name John Minton brought a more Cubist approach to his depiction of Tower Bridge. Minton first became known for his scenes of urban decay, which embodied the crude reality of post-war Britain. He captured the moody atmosphere of the cranes and wharves of the Port of London, with sailors working on boats or pairs of dockers moving boxes around the riverbank.
In 1951, Minton was commissioned by the London Transport Museum to create ‘London’s river’, a gouache painting designed to promote day trips to the Thames. There, Tower Bridge is featured standing tall in the background, the crowning glory of a peaceful view.