Robert Randoll (1864 - 1952)

Searchlights over London Bridge, 1916


SKU: 6651
Signed, titled and dated in pencil
Pastel on brown prepared paper
10 x 7 in. (25.5 x 17.8 cm)

Height – 25.5cm
Width – 17.8cm

1 in stock



The main German bombing campaign against England started in January 1915, usually flying by night under the cover of darkness. Initially these raids were by Airships but by 1917, the date of this pastel, attacks were largely from airplanes. Blackouts ensured that targets were harder to identify and landmarks were heavily protected through the use of search lights and Barrage Balloons.  This view shows Westminster Bridge, the oldest road bridge in central London, of 1854-62 by Thomas Page with detailing by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Palace of Westminster in the background.

Searchlights over London, quartering the night sky for Zeppelins, were an irresistible dramatic novelty to wartime artists, particularly Londoners. Unlike the Blitz in the Second World War, the blackout was very ineffective in the the First World War. Randoll was a minor illustrator who published views of  London – the Guildhall Art Gallery has many of the originals.

We are grateful to Maas Gallery for assistance.

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Robert Randoll
1864 - 1952

Randoll was an illustrator, working for over 50 years, mostly in the commerical sectonr. The Guildhall Art Gallery has many of his original views of London

With thanks to


Robert Randoll (1864 - 1952)
Searchlights over London Bridge, 1916
Robert Randoll (1864 - 1952)
War Searchlights over London Bridge, circa 1915