Coalbrookdale by Night

Made:
1801 in London
artist:
Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Painting, Coalbrookdale by Night by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801. Oil on canvas; 68x106.7cm, in gilt frame
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Painting, Coalbrookdale by Night by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801. Oil on canvas; 68x106.7cm, in gilt frame
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Painting, Coalbrookdale by Night by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801. Oil on canvas; 68x106.7cm, in gilt frame
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Painting, Coalbrookdale by Night by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801. Oil on canvas; 68x106.7cm, in gilt frame
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Painting, Coalbrookdale by Night by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801. Oil on canvas; 68x106.7cm, in gilt frame
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Coalbrookdale by Night by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801. Oil on canvas in gilt frame. Signed and dated bottom right. Exhibited as 'A View of Colebrook Dale by night' at the Royal Academy London in 1801. It shows the Bedlam furnaces at Colabrookdale in Shropshire, with flames and smoke billowing from the centre of the picture. The picturesque gorge landscape to either side is lit by moonlight, and figures hurry in the foreground to transport raw materials and iron pigs.

De Loutherbourg’s vivid nocturnal scene captures the dramatic tension at the heart of the Coalbrookdale site. The glowing furnaces sit at the centre of the picturesque Shropshire landscape, competing with the romantic moonlight. Male figures toil over the smelted iron – half heroes, half demons – watched by the woman and child, spectators from a threatened rural idyll. De Loutherbourg conjures the marvel of industry, but also the flames of hell, in a painting that is imbued with the spectacle that viewers knew from his work in the London theatres. The painting is based on sketches made on two tours from Shropshire to Wales in 1786 and 1800 observing industrial workings. These were bought by the artist JMW Turner, an avid fan of de Loutherbourg's works, and are now in the Tate collection.

On display

Science Museum: The Art of Innovation

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

Category:
Art
Measurements:
frame: 858 mm x 1236 mm x 70 mm,
image: 680 mm x 1067 mm
Identifier:
1952-452
type:
oil painting
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • oil painting - visual work

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.