‘The Thames on Lord Mayor’s Day’ by Canaletto is on display as an enormous poster version at London Bridge Station attracting attention to the inspiration behind HM Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee river pageant. River pageants have taken place on the River Thames for hundreds of years and this is going to be yet another glorious spectacle on Sunday 3rd June 2012, and one of the largest, with over 1,000 boats in the flotilla. The boats will gather between Hammersmith and Battersea bridges and proceed downstream at 2.00pm to Tower Bridge and the West India docks, finishing at 6.00pm. The Lord Mayor’s Day is just one of Canaletto’s pictures of the River Thames and in each he exquisitely captures the essence of the busy-ness and the importance of river transport – although some would say his depiction of the Thames has too much of the Antonio Canal in Venice to be truly authentic. But, if this has whetted your appetite for those gloriously blue skies, energy and vibrancy of colour, then head to Junction 6 of the M25; four Canalettos in a relatively modest country house are not to be missed at Titsey Place in Limpsfield. But missed they were, for many years they reposed in the attics only to be re-discovered in the 1960s and then admired in a derogatory fashion as fakes. Specialists since have declared all four to be the real McCoy. Titsey Place and gardens open for the summer season on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May and then between 16 May and 30 September on Wednesdays and Sundays. Extensive private tours are available at other times on application.
Blue Badge tourist guide