Chapter 18 • Revolutions of Industrialization


Visual Source 18.5: Philip James de Loutherbourg, Coalbrookdale by Night



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Visual Source 18.5: Philip James de Loutherbourg, Coalbrookdale by Night

Q. To what extent does that image reflect the description of Coalbrookdale above? Why do you think the artist set the image at night?

Possible answers:

• The image depicts the physical landscape of a winding glen between two immense hills correctly.

• It offers a stark contrast between the natural setting and the glowing light of the forge, as does the written account;

• It depicts the flames bursting from the furnaces and the smoke of coal fires in a manner consistent with the written account.

The picture also conveys, through the glow and the activity in the painting, a sense of noise that is emphasized in the written account.

Q. How would you interpret the flames issuing from the iron foundry? What is conveyed by the industrial debris in the foreground of the image?




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