RVA50 Object 8 “View of Richmond, Virginia, circa 1835″

“View of Richmond, Virginia,” circa 1835

Artist unknown
Oil on canvas, replica gilt frame

The tradition of depicting towns and cities in paintings is one that dates back many centuries before the founding of Richmond, Virginia.  This object illustrates an unknown Richmonder’s commission to capture the new government seat as it replaced Virginia’s earlier capital cities of Jamestown and Williamsburg.

The classical state capitol building, designed and fostered by Thomas Jefferson, remains the city’s core landmark more than two centuries later.  In the foreground of the painting, another important feature is Mayo’s bridge, completed in 1788 by John Mayo Jr., the grandson of the man who first laid out Richmond’s grid pattern (the current bridge dates to 1913).

Gift of Mann S. Valentine II, 1892