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Vintage London Watercolour 'The Grapes'

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Watercolor: Pre 1900: Item # 1172477

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Vintage London Watercolour 'The Grapes'
Vintage London Watercolour 'The Grapes Wapping Read' By Emerson Harold Groom 1891-1983. This very well executed watercolour depicts one of London’s most famous public houses 'The Grapes' Wapping. Painted at low tide, it shows the pub below a fisherman preparing his boat with a young boy looking on. A lovely painting in it's original frame and ivory wash line mount. The colours are crisp and there is no foxing. The Grapes is a public house backing onto the Thames waterfront, located at 76 Narrow Street, London E14 8BP The current building was built in 1720, on the site of a previous pub built in 1583, a working class tavern, serving the Dockers of the Lime house Basin. In the 1930s it sold beer from the adjacent brewery owned by Taylor Walker. It survived the bombing of the nearby Lime house Basin in World War II and Docklands redevelopment in the 1980s Lime house was first settled as one of the few healthy areas of dry land among the riverside marshes. By Queen Elizabeth’s I's ime, it was at the centre of world trade and her explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert lived there. From directly below The Grapes, Sir Walter Raleigh set sail on his third voyage to the New World. In 1661, Samuel Pepy's diary records his trip to lime kilns at the jetty just along from The Grapes. In 1820 the young Charles Dickens visited his godfather in Lime house and knew the district well for 40 years. The Grapes appears, scarcely disguised, in the opening chapter of his novel Our Mutual Friend; "A tavern of dropsical appearance… long settled down into a state of hale infirmity. It had outlasted many a sprucer public house, indeed the whole house impended over the water but seemed to have got into the condition of a faint-hearted diver, who has paused so long on the brink that he will never go in at all.” The Grapes has a complete set of Dickens in the back parlour. Other popular writers have been fascinated by Lime house: Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Arthur Conan Doyle who sent Sherlock Holmes in search of opium provided by the local Chinese immigrants; more recently Peter Ackroyd in Dan Leno and the Lime house Golem. Narrow Street is also associated with many distinguished painters. Francis Bacon lived and worked at no 80, Edward Wolfe at no 96. James McNeill Whistler painted a Nocturne of Lime house. On The Grapes’ walls are an oil painting seen from the Thames by the marine artist Napier Hemy, watercolours of Lime house Reach by Louise Hardy and Dickens at The Grapes by the New Zealand artist Nick Cuthell. The Grapes survived The Blitz bombing of the Second World War and retains the friendly atmosphere of a “local” for Lime house residents, where visitors are always welcome in the bars and upstairs dining room.


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