The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834, 1835
The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834, 1834-35
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
On this date in 1834 the Old Palace of Westminster, for centuries the meeting place of the British Parliament, was destroyed in a catastrophic fire. The event is well-known to art lovers through the work of J.M.W. Turner who witnessed the conflagration and captured his impressions in two spectacular oil paintings and a large-scale, virtuoso watercolour. I was interested to discover today that the well-known series of watercolour sketches formerly identified as depictions of this event have been recently re-identified as portraying the devastating fire at the Tower of London in 1841.