One of the Classic Views of Hampstead Heath.
Rare, separately-published aquatint with engraving of the City of London, as viewed from Hampstead Heath at the northwest end of town, published by Francis Jukes.
This delicately colored piece shows London distant, with St. Paul's Cathedral eminently visible, the old walls of London circling the city, and the newer smokestacks that have risen up to the east end of town.
The scene in the foreground contrasts heavily to this background, with a small farmhouse next to a reservoir. Cows graze on the heath's steep hills, and denizens stroll through well-maintained paths. A common complaint at the time was that "its nearness to London brings so many loose women in vampt up clothes to catch the City apprentices, that modest company are ashamed to appear here," as complained the travel writer John Macky. Defoe was no more a fan, but by Keats's time the area become a fashionable spa, and soon after it would be engulfed by London.
Hampstead Heath is one of the highest points in London and still offers one of the best views of the city. A fine view of the city from its pastoral outskirts.