View of Liverpool from the Bowling Green

WAG 8654


This watercolour is one of a pair of panoramic watercolour views of Liverpool by Rooker. They were engraved by the artist's father and published in 1770. The buildings, from left to right, include the churches of St Thomas, St George and St Nicholas. The Old Town Hall is the lower dome and St. Paul's church the larger one. Over to the right is the Infirmary, standing on the site now occupied by St. George's Hall. The windmills are in the Lime Street and Islington area, taking advantage of the higher land. Rooker specialised in topographical watercolours but his usual subjects were country towns and medieval ruins in rural settings; his two views of Modern Liverpool are untypical. He and his father were associated with the Liverpool publisher and historian George Perry (1719 - 1771), whose poem 'The Prophecy of Commerce' contains a proud description of Liverpool, comparable to Rooker's expansive view.