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The View from Richmond Hill

Updated on September 12, 2015
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Katherine is a well known art blogger who has been writing extensively on art on 'Making A Mark' for the last 10 years.

A Great Painting Location

The scenic panorama from the promenade terrace at the top of Richmond Hill has been described as "an unrivalled landscape". It's the only view in England to be protected by an Act of Parliament - the Richmond, Ham and Petersham Open Spaces Act passed in 1902.

It's also been the subject of paintings by various famous artists including Sir Joshua Reynolds and J.M.W. Turner - and is still a great painting location for today's landscape painters.

Find out more about the history of the view, its context and how to get to it below.

"The view from Richmond hill is, by universal consent, the finest within a few miles of London. Indeed, of its kind, it is difficult to surpass anywhere."

— The Queen's London: A Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery

Location of Richmond Hill

The View from Richmond Hill is from the park which runs alongside the road of the same name. It looks down over Terrace Gardens to the River Thames and its small islands on the bend in the river - plus and the water meadows at the bottom of the hill.

One of the best views of it is near to the house formerly occupied by, Sire Joshua Reynolds, the First President of the Royal Academy of Arts

The River Thames - View from Richmond Hill View of the River Thames taken from the footpath beneath the Roebuck Public House situated on Richmond Hill.
The River Thames - View from Richmond Hill View of the River Thames taken from the footpath beneath the Roebuck Public House situated on Richmond Hill. | Source

The View from Richmond Hill - Painters

The Thames from Richmond Hill Looking Southwest (1791) by John Robert Cozens
The Thames from Richmond Hill Looking Southwest (1791) by John Robert Cozens | Source

England: Richmond Hill on the Prince Regent’s Birthday - J.M.W. Turner (1775 to 1851)

This painting was exhibited by Turner at the Royal Academy in 1819. It now hangs in the Tate Britain Gallery, London.

Richmond Hill and the Thames, London - Jasper Francis Cropsey - 1861

" a large and important which that favourite national scene of ours is treated with a most circumstantial fidelity and completeness of detail and, at the same time, with refined poetical feeling and brilliancy of effect which we have so often admired in the much varied productions of that artist."

— American landscape artist Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900)

Did You Know?

In 1733 William Byrd named Richmond, Virginia because the view of the James River reminded him of this view from Richmond Hill

More about artists who have painted Richmond Hill

Artists who have painted Richmond Hill include:

- great English painters of the past: Constable, Turner, Reynolds and Gainsborough

The View from Richmond Hill - Information

The Thames Landscape Strategy - London's Arcadia

The Thames Landscape Strategy focuses on the remarkable river corridor between Hampton and Kew.

Launched in 1994, the strategy is a 100-year blueprint for the Thames, whose vision is to conserve, enhance and promote for the future, one of the world's great urban landscapes.

"The terrace at Richmond does assuredly afford one of the finest prospects in the world. Whatever is charming in nature or pleasing in art, is to be seen here: nothing I had ever seen or ever can see elsewhere, is to be compared to it."

— Charles P. Moritz, "Travels in England in 1782"

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