A Reddit user who goes by the name of Shystone has juxtaposed paintings of London from the 18th and 19th centuries with present-day Google Street View images.
The resulting collages show both how much the capital has changed and how many of the city's landmarks remain unchanged.
We have included Shystone's fascinating commentaries on each scene. See more, including some wonderful Canaletto's Venice collages, at Shystone's gallery page.
Westminster Abbey with a Procession of Knights of the Bath (1749) Canaletto. Shystone writes: "I love Canaletto's paintings of London. This view hints at the less developed (and less painted) riverfront behind the Abbey that the Knights are heading down to. In 1749 Westminster Palace as we see it today wasn't built yet. Members of Parliament were still using the Abbey's Chapter House to have Commons meetings."reddit/shystone, Google Street View
The River Thames with St. Paul's Cathedral on Lord Mayor's Day (1746) Canaletto: The Millenium Bridge cuts across this patch of the river now. You still get a great view of St Paul's from the south side of the river, but in 1746 - only 40 years since they had finished building it - it must have totally dominated London's skyline. It was our city's tallest building for over 300 years. The Lord Mayor's Procession floating by reminds one of the Diamond Jubilee celebration that soildered on through the grim weather a few years ago.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
Northumberland House (1752) Canaletto: On the south end of Trafalgar Square this huge townhouse stood from 1605 up to 1874 when it was demolished after compulsory purchase by the government to make way for a new road. There's a Waterstones on the corner now under an old hotel building. Although it was completely demolished, one of the original building's arches still stand, seven miles away in East London as an entrance to a local community centre.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
St Martins in the Fields (1888) William Logsdail: On the other side of Trafalgar Square is St. Martin's in the Fields. Not as old as Northumberland House, but there's been a church on the site for at least 800 years. The famous furniture designer Thomas Chippendale is buried here.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
Covent Garden Market (1737) Balthazar Nebot: When this square was originally built in the 1660s it was the first open piazza of its type in London. Pretty famous as a red-light district by the time this was painted. Today this view east towards St Pau'ls Church is taken up by the Market Hall, built in 1830.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
The Strand looking East from Exeter Exchange (1822) Artist Unknown: The Strand has changed a lot since this painting of St Mary Le Strand. It was half-demolished and extended in 1900, removing all the pokey alleyways and narrow residential roads to the north side. Even the church is a replacement for another one demolished to make way for Somerset House. In 1822 all the roads on the right would still have led right down into the Thames before the embankment was constructed. On Villiers Street the river bank came right up to where Gordon's Wine Bar is.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
The 9th of November, 1888 (1890) William Logsdail: Lord Mayor's Procession passing through Bank Junction. To the left The Old Bank of England, less than 50 years away from demolition. A famous crime on the very day of this parade was the last in a series of grizzly murders by Jack The Ripper - less than a mile away. If you look closely at the painting you can see another famous artist in the crowd wearing a brown bowler, JW Waterhouse, William Logsdail's friend.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
View of The Grand Walk (1751) Canaletto: The Pleasure Gardens in Vauxhall were a big deal in the 1600s, being a meeting place for all sorts of interlopers, wealthy rubbing elbows with working class folk. There was music and live entertainment and hot-air balloons. For literary fans this is the place where in Vanity Fair, Amelia's brother somewhat fails to impress Becky by getting blind drunk on Rack Punch.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
Blackman Street London (1885) John Atkinson Grimshaw: The church is St. George The Martyr. This is the Church next to the notorious Marshalsea prison where Dickens' Little Dorrit is born. The only remains of the actual prison are tucked down an alleyway north of the church with a plaque in a small public garden. Today The Shard is the biggest spire you'll see looking north east up Borough High Street.reddit/shystone, Google Street View
A View of Greenwich from the River (1750-2) Canaletto: And one last Canaletto for good luck. Greenwich unchanged as ever, minus a few of the sail boats.reddit/shystone, Google Street View