Highlights of the collections

Guildhall Art Gallery

Prospect of the City from the North

Guildhall Art Gallery now contains over 4,000 paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures. Its collection of pictures relating to London from the 17th century to the present day includes topographical subjects by artists such as Samuel Scott and William Marlow and ceremonial subjects such as William Logsdail's 'Ninth of November'. The portrait collection includes work by Sir Peter Lely, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir John Lavery among many other well known names. The Gallery's 18th century pictures are dominated by American artist John Singleton Copley's immense painting 'The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782', which the Corporation commissioned to commemorate this famous British victory. 19th century and Victorian painting is a strong element within the collection, including major works by Constable, Landseer, Millais, Rossetti, Poynter and Lord Leighton. In 1989 the Corporation accepted the GLC Heritage Collection, comprising London subjects and a series of portraits of Chairmen of the LCC and GLC by the most notable portrait painters of their day, including among the modern and contemporary artists Peter Greenham and Maggi Hambling. The Corporation is also responsible for the Harold Samuel Collection of 17th century Dutch and Flemish Paintings, which was bequeathed in 1989 by Lord Samuel of Wych Cross for permanent display in the Mansion House.

London Metropolitan Archives

Simon Eyre, Lord Mayor

The collection is one of the richest sources of London-related visual material in the world including photographs, prints, drawings, watercolours, maps, plans, trade cards, playbills and other ephemera (of which 130,000 images are available on COLLAGE). Its collections provide a wealth of original sources depicting London's streets, buildings and ever-changing layout from Tudor times to the present day. Londoners of all stations from royalty and Lord Mayors to chimney sweeps and flower sellers can also be seen. Other subjects include events from state occasions to riots and executions ; leisure activities from drinking alcohol to going to church; disasters such as the Great Fire of London ; fashion ; transport; shops and occupations and satires of all kinds. The collection also includes the Willshire collection of Old Master prints by artists such as Rembrandt, Durer and Cranach. Other important artists represented in the collection include Wenceslas Hollar, William Hogarth, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, William Daniell; E.W Cooke; Thomas Hosmer Shephard, George Scharf , George Cruikshank; Muirhead Bone and Edward Bawden as well as such map-makers as John Rocque and Richard Horwood.