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Thames by Moonlight (1884), by John Atkinson Grimshaw


​Guildhall Art Gallery
Guildhall Yard
​London EC2V 5AE

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​​020 7332 3700
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​The Gallery is fully accessible

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Monday to Saturday
10am - 5pm
12pm - 4pm

​Free exhibition | 31 May - 1 September 2019

Illuminated River, a public art commission to light up the Thames bridges at night, is featured in this new display at Guildhall Art Gallery, alongside the ‘Architecture of London’ exhibition.

The Illuminated River display includes architectural drawings and animations of the project, alongside historic Thames paintings by artists including Frank Brangwyn, John Atkinson Grimshaw and Norman Wilkinson. These paintings have been selected by Illuminated River artist Leo Villareal from the collection of Guildhall Art Gallery, to complement his vision for the Thames bridges. The Thames paintings featured in this exhibition represent the atmospheric shifts of the river environment at different hours of the day and through the seasons.

The Illuminated River project

Led by light artist Leo Villareal (The Bay Lights) and London-based architects, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Illuminated River is a major public artwork that will be installed on up to 15 central London bridges. Once complete, it will be the longest public art commission in the world, seen by over 200 million people a year. The first four bridges – London, Cannon Street, Southwark, and Millennium, all of which are owned and managed by the City of London Corporation – will be illuminated in summer 2019.

Villareal continues a tradition of generations of artists inspired by the Thames. Using the latest LED technology to 'paint with light', he will create beautifully sequenced patterns that play across the bridge structures. Villareal’s artwork engages specifically with the site of each bridge, respecting and revealing their distinctive architectural features and histories. To read more about this initiative, visit the Illuminated River project website.