Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich

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View of Deptford Power Station from Greenwich

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich
User collections Britain and the Sea audio tour by Joanna
Gallery locationQH (Floor plans)
Publication(s)Treasures of the National Maritime Museum
Gloria Clifton and Nigel Rigby
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Object details:

Object ID BHC1806
Description The painting depicts a view of Deptford Power Station from Greenwich, with three of its chimneys rising up on the left. They are painted grey, belching black smoke into the pale sky. In front of the power station, boats are ranged, recognizable by their smoke stacks. Painted in thick impasto, and bleached of colour, the impact of the picture is provided by contrasts between light and dark. The river and sky have received the same treatment of thick impasto paint, and hints of ochre towards the edges. The artist uses colour sparingly, principally ochre, blue, black, red and white. Both the shipping on the river and the ghostly buildings and industrial equipment associated with docks are implied on the horizon to the right. Towards the centre of the picture, a larger boat has been delineated showing its bow and with a red marking on her funnel. Other shapes in the water are black by comparison. The features of the scene have been briefly delineated, including the shoreline to the left, the railings on the quay, the boat in the foreground and the cranes. Described as a great visual recorder of the last days of the Industrial Revolution, Lowry painted very few pictures of London. He was concerned with immense industrial buildings at the heart of industrial towns, and the effect this landscape had on the inhabitants. He was an observer and wrestled with isolation and depression for much of his life. Here the humans have been pushed to the far-left of the picture space looking over the quay. Cranes rise out of the mist on far-right. Lowry's interpretation is a disquieting vision, revealing a sense of alienation and man's inconsequence against the juggernaut of industrialization.
Date made 1959

Artist/Maker Lowry, Laurence Stephen
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 682 mm x 932 mm x 75 mm;Overall: 10.2 kg;Painting: 508 mm x 762 mm
  • View of Deptford Power Station from Greenwich (BHC1806)
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