Since World War II the Guildhall Art Gallery has had a policy to focus its attention on acquiring paintings of London. As a consequence, its formerly small collection of paintings has grown considerably. Today the Gallery can boast of a range of highly significant topographical paintings by such masters as Samuel Scott, William Marlow, David Roberts, Atkinson Grimshaw, William Logsdail, James Tissot, and W.L. Wyllie.
As well its interest in paintings of buildings and the cityscape, the Guildhall Art Gallery is equally as interested in paintings that record London life. Whether paintings of labourers demolishing Old London Bridge and laying giant tubes to supply water from the New River or Londoners at play at a spontaneous frost fair. The collection also includes brainwaves for improving London such as George Dance`s double bridge and images of the casting of a bronze sphinx for Cleopatra's Needle. There are images of celebratory occasions, such as the pageantry associated with Queen Victoria`s visit or animated scenes of the Lord Mayor`s Show.