Changing Impressions - D11094

Changing Impressions:  A Print Conservation Project in Focus

Smith's engraving reproduces a picture by William Miller (c.1740-1810) showing the swearing in of Alderman Nathaniel Newnham as Lord Mayor in 1782. This would have been the first such ceremony attended by the publisher John Boydell (standing front left in gown) who had been elected Alderman the previous August. The painting was apparently commissioned by Boydell and presented to the Corporation of London in 1793, three years after he himself was sworn in as Lord Mayor.

Like other commemorative engravings of civic ceremonies the main protagonists can be identified from written accounts and other known portraits. This engraving also records details of the interior of the Guildhall now lost. The giant figure of Magog, shown top-centre, was destroyed in an air raid in 1940, as were all but two of the twenty two portraits by John Michael Wright, shown on the walls in the left of the picture.