John Nixon, St Paul’s Cathedral and Islington from Regent’s Park (1816), pen and grey ink and watercolour over pencil, £6500 from Guy Peppiatt Fine Art.

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It was completed in 1816, a time of change for the area. Well into the 19th century, sections of the park were farmland. In 1794, however, a survey was undertaken and it was decided that areas of the land should be developed.

Architect John Nash and his draughtsman John Morgan undertook the project to develop homes for the ‘wealthy and good’ which resulted in a series of outer terraces surrounding the park from east to west.

In 1816, when Nash completed this painting, work had also begun on the section of the Regent’s Canal which ran through the north-east corner of the park. The watercolour may show part of the digging of the canal and the small block-like structures dotted through the drawing are possibly brick kilns.

Nash shows the view to the spires of Islington churches and around to St Paul’s, which would have been visible, though its prominence is over-emphasised here.

Peppiatt’s exhibition of British drawings and watercolours takes place at his St James’s gallery and runs until June 7. It also features works by artists including William Hogarth, Francis Towne and Thomas Rowlandson.