The London painter Julian Barrow was in New York making the final arrangements for his upcoming exhibit “Three Cities: London, New York and Paris” when the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, the very day he was to return home. Just two days prior to the tragedy, he was standing beneath the Brooklyn Bridge completing a canvas of the financial district—the twin towers are in the painting in the distance.
During the five days he was forced to remain in Manhattan due to the grounding of all air travel, Barrow continued to paint the architectural views he has become famous for, adding to his existing body of works that includes the Boat Pond in Central Park (above left), a street corner on the Upper East Side (see table of contents), where he typically stays, the Conservatory Garden at 105th Street and a view of the Civic Center from a spot near the Brooklyn Bridge (above right). “I couldn’t go down to the World Trade Center area,” he says.
Those paintings, along with scenes from Paris (below left) and London (below right), will be on exhibit at the W. M. Brady gallery in New York from November 6 through November 17.
Barrow has been painting scenes in New York and in many other cities since the 1960s. Although his studio and residence are in the same Chelsea building where Whistler and Sargent painted, Barrow, a “plein air” artist, paints outdoors mostly, traveling the globe and setting up his easel on sidewalks and street corners to capture the exteriors of houses, buildings and bridges in oil on canvas. He also is frequently commissioned to paint interiors, known as conversation pieces.
His oil paintings usually are small, 8 inches by 10 inches, sometimes 14 by 20—and they are in prominent collections throughout the United States and Europe.