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Ebbe Sadolin’s London

February 27, 2015
by the gentle author

Danish Illustrator Ebbe Sadolin (1900-82) visited London in the years following the War to capture the character of the capital, just recovering from the Blitz, in a series of lyrical drawings executed in elegant spidery lines. Remarkably, he included as many images of the East End as the West End and I publish a selection of favourites here from the forties.

George & Dragon, Shoreditch

St Katherine’s Way, Wapping

The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping

Stocks, Shoreditch

Petticoat Lane

Tower Green, Tower of London

The Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet St

Rough Sleeper, Shoreditch

Islington Green

Nightingale Lane, Wapping

Fleet St

Wapping churchyard

Tower of London

Commercial Rd, Stepney

St Pancras Station

High St, Plaistow

Bride of Denmark, Queen Anne’s Gate

Liverpool St Station

You may also like to look at

Roland Collins’ London

James Boswell’s London

Lucinda Rogers’ London

19 Responses leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    February 27, 2015

    I love these – the style and clarity is so appealing!

  2. February 27, 2015

    What superb and wonderful drawings
    I absolutely love them
    I love his interest in adverts – and that there is a whopping great gin advert on Fleet Street.
    And look at the Prospect of Whitby all on its own!
    The people are great, his line is beautiful, they are so simple and immediate

    thanks GA with your broken arm xx

  3. February 27, 2015

    Hi there. I love these prints. Do you know if it is possible to purchase any of them?

    P.S. – Fantastic blog!

    Melbourne, Australia

  4. joan permalink
    February 27, 2015

    These are lovely, especially the one of Nightingale Lane. I was born in Wapping in the early 1960s and my mum says that she has clear memories of pushing my pram, every day, through the high walled Wapping streets.

    Hope your arm is recovering. I remember that four years ago when I was a frequent visitor to the local hospital fracture clinic I met all sorts of fascinating people. I think there is something in the rhythm of applying plaster to a broken limb which encourages staff to chat about their lives. I guess you may, in this way, find further individuals to profile.

    Best wishes,


  5. February 27, 2015

    they look freshly minted, very attractive.

  6. David permalink
    February 27, 2015

    Wonderful sketches and amazingly Francis C Walters of Commercial Road appears again linking with the recent references to Ether and Doris Walters and a photo of the very same shop front!

  7. February 27, 2015

    Lovely – very inspiring especially on a sunny day like this, makes me feel I should get out & draw! Hope your arm isn’t too painful.

  8. Ken permalink
    February 27, 2015

    These are wonderful. But has his work been published anywhere? Where can one see more???
    Tantalising glimpse of this perceptive artist.

  9. February 27, 2015

    Historic fine Sketches from a New Time to come …

    Love & Peace

  10. Paul Lonergan permalink
    February 27, 2015

    Lovely drawings

  11. Zena Sullivan permalink
    February 27, 2015

    Thanks for these & very sorry to hear of your breakage; seriously inconvenient.
    Lovely redolent drawings – I’m particularly intrigued at the ‘stocks in Shoreditch’ & the ‘Doll’s Hospital’ in Islington. Do you know what became of them?

  12. Gary Arber permalink
    February 27, 2015

    The clarity and accuracy of those sketches turns back the clock to those times.
    You can almost smell the smoke of the steam engines rising to the high glass roof of Liverpool Street Station

  13. Pauline Taylor permalink
    February 27, 2015

    I agree with Gary as that was my immediate response to the drawing of Liverpool Street, the smell of the steam engines! Very evocative sketches which bring back memories of those post war times, and once again bring to life places where my ancestors lived, thank you.

    I was amused to see that the youth club had whist drives, I wonder what the youth of today would think of that. Not much I fear!


  14. February 27, 2015

    Wonderful pictures! But where are the Shoreditch stocks now? Think how useful they would be to put developers in!

  15. Linda M permalink
    February 27, 2015

    Oh I love these drawings. I wish I could buy prints of them. They bring back so many memories and at the same time they are so fresh and vibrant!

  16. Ros permalink
    February 27, 2015

    Lively, clear, evocative drawings. There are stocks inside the porch of St. Leonard’s Church Shoreditch which could be the ones – perhaps they were outside before. What is the lady on Tower Green doing I wonder – taking a picture of the gent? And I like the detritus of Billingsgate fishmarket in the drawing of the Tower – guess it was still right nearby then.

  17. Helen F permalink
    February 27, 2015

    What delightful sketches! They are such a pleasure to look at, and an inspiration to take up my own pencil and try to do some urban drawing. Thank you.

  18. February 28, 2015

    Those are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with us.

  19. martin permalink
    March 2, 2015

    Stunning draughtsmanship. Picks up all the minutiae of London life post war like the bomb sites in an Ealing comedy.

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