This watercolour is of the High Bridge, in Lincoln, and its surrounding cityscape. Greene’s use of watercolour suits the scene and its various components, with the dry and sketchy nature of the paint application giving the buildings a textuality. Similarly, the choice to leave areas of the river without paint, showing the paper underneath, gives the water a shimmering quality with reflections that seem to dance. Green’s application of black ink gives the scene its definition, however even this is somewhat minimalist and the viewer is often given information through the briefest of strokes and dashes.
The High Bridge in Lincoln is the oldest bridge in the United Kingdom which still has buildings on it. The bridge was built about 1160 AD with the current row of timber framed shops on the west side of the bridge, seen depicted here, date from about 1550. The two upper storeys of the shops are jettied forward and below is a narrow crooked arch through which boats can pass.
John Greene painted many scenes of Great Britain as original artwork for railway posters. These locations included Winchester, Lancashire, Lichfield, Skipton, Ribblesdale and areas of Northern Ireland.