A rewarding collection of great artists' views through the centuries of an always vibrant, visually fascinating, if not dazzlingly beautiful city. In his readable, informative commentary, Oxford art historian Piper, who found the 136 artworks reproduced here in collections throughout Europe, acknowledges that London has never been as attractive to artists as, say, Paris. But as the city has endured and prospered through fires, fog, the Blitz and the blight of modern architecture, its artery, the Thames, and the the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminister Abbey on its bank, have remained the focal points of artists' views from 1252 to the present day. Northern European masters of urban detail left near-photographic records of its imposing medieval clutter before the Great Fire of 1666. Canaletto romanticized the handsome formal city of classical facades, squares and parks that emerged afterward, while London-born Hogarth revealed darker views of life in its streets. English landscape masters Constable and Turner each produced only a few haunting views of the city in which both lived, notably Turner's extraordinary eye-witness scenes of the burning of the Houses of Parliament in 1834. Impressionists exiled from Paris by war and revolution in 1870 found London frequently shrouded in coal-dust fog, but Monet, Pissarro, Sisley and others, including American-born Whistler who settled and died in London, found inspiration in the royal parks, suburban countryside, and the Thames and its mantle of mist. Graham Sutherland, John Piper, David Bromley and Henry Moore were among those who recorded the city's devastation and suffering during the bombing of World War II, the most recent calamity to change the face of the enduring city.