Exeter High Street C. 1900 (title)
This mural was commissioned by Exeter City Council for their offices. Many of the high street buildings had been bombed during Worl War 2, so I had to research the archives in the Reference Library, books on history of Exeter, and consult with architectural historians. I used numerous illustrations and old photos,to piece together how the buildings would have looked. The shops, I discovered from old clippings, all had canopies, which we dont see today.
The mayor's carriage is still in use, for ceremonial occasions, so it was easy to find photographs, but more difficult to transpose the position to suit the mural perspective.
The Guildhall - I took photos of for reference while painting.
Creating a dirty wheel tracked street was a challenge, as I don't know what it would have been liked, but I was quite satisfied with the outcome. I think it would have been dirty, and muddy, even if it was cleaned regularly, as many horses and traps would have travelled into Exeter from the outlying farms in the countryside.
The gas lamps interested me; there are still some around, and I gained access to stores in the museum where there was one huge one, which gave me exactly the right idea.