Paul Sandby learnt his topographical skills in the Drawing Room of the Board of Ordinance in the Tower of London. A pioneer of the early watercolour school, he influenced professional and amateur artists in his teaching practice. He enabled both pupils in the Ordnance Board, and later, as drawing master at Woolwich, future army officers to acquire the artistic skills necessary to the performance of their professional duties.
His skill as a topographical draughtsman would have made him an ideal recorder of the continental scene, but he does not seem to have travelled abroad. The few drawings of continental views that exist were either worked up from the sketches of amateur artists and travellers on the Grand Tour, or were derived from the etchings of Claude and other Old Masters.
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