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A do-it-yourself walk with the Godfather

Part 5: The walking tour

My proposed walking tour would begin and end at Somerset House to take in the panorama and compare its current appearance with Canaletto’s. It would include most of the places he painted including Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, St James’s Park, Charing Cross, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Bridge, and Greenwich. Part of the fun would be seeing how it has changed, and remembering the buildings that are no longer in existence such as Northumberland House and the Ranelagh Rotunda. Canaletto’s London was unashamedly tourist London, but neither he nor I could guarantee, in actuality, his vision of sparkling sunlight with crisp light and shade, throngs of elegantly dressed, well behaved people having a good time, and everything neat and tidy.

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