Stephen Wiltshire draws London Panorama


Stephen Wiltshire memorised the appearance and position of hundreds of London's buildings in exact scale during a helicopter ride along the Thames. Over the next five days, he drew the seven-square mile panorama, including landmarks such as the Swiss Re tower, and Canary Wharf, on a 13ft curving canvas.

He did not refer to notes, preliminary sketches or photographs and his drawing includes the precise number of skyscraper floors. Mr Wiltshire, who was set the challenge by Channel Five for its documentary, Extraordinary People, said he was 'thrilled' with the result.

The artist, who received an MBE for his services to art in 2006, has a gallery in Notting Hill.

As a child, he was unable to speak and threw tantrums in frustration at not being able to make himself understood. His family say that the only thing that seemed to comfort him was being given a pencil and paper. Aged six, he shocked a family friend by drawing an accurate sketch of the facade of the department store Selfridges in a style well beyond his years. At eight he sold his first drawing, of Salisbury Cathedral, which motivated him to communicate with others and gave him the ability to lead an independent life.

Teachers at Queensmill School first got him to speak by taking away his materials, forcing him to shout 'Paper!'. He developed language skills by picking up words related to his passion - drawing and buildings.


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Video

Extraordinary People



Panorama Drawings

Starting with Tokyo in 2005, Stephen Wiltshire has drawn Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem, London, Sydney, Shanghai, Brisbane and New York on giant canvases.

His most recent trips took him to Singapore, Istanbul, Houston, Mexico City and Doha, Qatar.

In the Papers

Stephen Wiltshire Interviews View articles dating back from the 1980s about Stephen starting his career and more recent press cutting in the Archive.

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Stephen's Photo Library Photographs of a Genius in action from the late 1970s to today for press use or illustration purposes.

London Gallery

Stephen Wiltshire's London Artist Studio Stephen Wiltshire's private art gallery is located in Notting Hill, London, welcoming his collectors on an appointment basis.
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