Pictures With A Message



 Top  Antique Print Collection: The Divided City.

The Divided City - WC Miles

 The Divided City - W. C. Miles.
(Republished from private Collection – © Peter N Millward)
 The Divided City - W. C. Miles. Republished and Digitally restored. 

A fascinating picture, full of Bible references - The title, The Divided City, not much is known or how the picture came about. But is definetly a picture to study the Bible with. The city depicted isnt named but with a river running through it could easily apply to London - but this is a spiritual version. What is is noticable the difference between the two sides of the river with many city scenes in the picture, reflecting life, both good or bad, with warnings to avoid the bad streets and roads and encouragement to follow the narrow path called "Pilgrim's Walk" to get to Pilgrim's Walk one has to leave the bad side and its activities to cross bridges to go in the right direction. Once on the other side, a traveller will encounter various streets and roads with Christian activities/meanings, also warnings. It is to be noted and significant - There is only one entrance into "Pilgrim's Walk" and a narrow gate. Two destinies Heaven or Hell await all who travel through life in the Divided City, which path will we take?. In the Victorian era. it would definitly appeal to many Christians living in London. But indeed it could be applied to any major city too. Since the picture has no written explanation. This is just speculation, but it maybe there was a message preached about a "Divided City" at the time which inspired the picture. For those interested - I created a Video - a city tour of the  Divided City and brief explanation.  With music - The Windmills of your mind, as a way of introduction to the many scenes of this mysterious Victorian picture.

Designed by William C Miles, the exact date this chromolithograph picture was first published is not known. But it was being advertised in the magazine - The Railway Signal, or Lights along the Line in 1915. Looking at the various scenes in the picture, there are no motorcars illustrated, which could mean the design was created pre motorcar era, 1880s - 1890s. If anyone has any further information about the picture, please contact me. 

This picture was published through  R J Masters & Co, 32, Wilton Road – Victoria Station, London. A Christmas advertisement below shows RJ Masters advertising in the Westminster & Pimlico News  November 29, 1895. 

Posters and Cards available at the link

W C Miles, also designed a number of evangelical pictures in a similar vein, which are perhaps more well known, like the Gospel Compass or the Up and Down Lines. 

The Bible Wheel for Sailors of All Nations

The Gospel Compass for Sailors of All Nations

The Gospel Target for Soldiers and Volunteers

The Up and Down Lines

(Republished and Digital Image Restoration – © Peter N Millward, Private Collection)

Prints and Cards available of the above picture - click link 


(Republished from Private Collection – © Peter N Millward)

© 2022 Peter N Millward - Last update 01/05/2022