The Town of Lanark
London: Smith, Elder & Co, 1825. Hand-coloured aquatint, 'drawn on the spot by I. Clark'. In excellent condition with the exception of some creasing in the lower left corner of sheet. A few tiny tears on the bottom margin. Crease along top right corner. Bottom right corner has been expertly mended and infilled. Trimmed within the platemark on all sides. Image size: 15 3/16 x 22 1/8 inches. Sheet size: 19 1/8 x 24 7/8 inches.
An important topographical view of Robert Owen's New Lanark factory complex in Scotland, with Lanark, the county town of the county of Lanarkshire, visible in the background, from John Clark's 'Views in Scotland'
There is some debate as to who executed this stunning print. There is no reference which identifies the author of this view, but there is some indication that it is the work of the celebrated painter John Heaviside Clark (1770-1863). Born in Scotland, Clark exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1801 and 1832. He was primarily a landscape and marine painter, but he also produced a number of fine aquatints, which exhibit his exceptional talents as an engraver. Known as "Waterloo Clark" for his early sketches of the battle of Waterloo, he was a painter of some repute across the British Isles, and his beautiful views remain some of the most attractive images of the English countryside. A contemporary gazetteer describes New Lanark as follows 'a large and handsome manufacturing village, situated on the right bank of the Clyde, about 1 mile above the town of Lanark. It is the creation of the late philanthropic David Dale, who, in 1784, feued [sic] the site of the mills and village. The first mill was begun in 1785: since then various extensions have been made, until it is now the most extensive cotton manufacturing establishment in the county. About 1,400 of the inhabitants are employed directly by the mills. The majority of the present inhabitants are descendants of the original settlers collected from various parts of the Highlands. Mr. Dale was succeeded in the management of the mills by his son-in-law, Mr. Robert Owen, whose projects for the regeneration of the social system of mankind have made his name, and that of the village in which he first attempted to carry them out, notorious in the kingdom. In 1827 he ceased to have any connection with these works.' (Fullarton [publisher's] A Gazetteer of the World 1856, IV, p.638)
Cf. Abbey Scenery 489; cf. Prideaux p.331;Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, vol 3, p. 676.