W.J. Lawrence: Thames & Gravesend Sketches

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This collection of deft sketches, dating from 1938 to 1947, were executed quickly on-the-spot and show real artistic flair. The subjects primarily comprise views on the Thames at Gravesend - showing the working harbour, steamships and pier in the 1930s - as well as London landscapes at Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park, and interesting architectural sketches in Warwick and Coventry.

Inscriptions accompanying the collection indicate that the artist, W.J. Lawrence, lived at Gravesend in Kent, then later Coventry and South Norwood, London. Details about the artist’s life remain elusive, but colour notes on some of the drawings indicate that these sketches were to be worked up later in paint. Other annotations indicate that the artist was possibly involved professionally in the fields of archaeology or architecture. The fact that the drawings date from immediately before and after the Second World War, with an absence of drawings in between, suggests that Lawrence perhaps served in the armed forces during wartime.