John William Inchbold

Peat Burning

c.1864–6

Medium
Oil paint on paper
Dimensions
Support: 179 x 256 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
Reference
T08136

Display caption

This work captures the spectacle of stubble or peat burning, or tin smelting in Cornwall, and was probably done from observation. The atmospheric effects, mauve smoke, pink clouds and green sky are unusual at this period.

It became commonplace in the 19th century to see nature and industry as opposites, but here the two are merged. Inchbold has set aside picturesque landscape conventions in favour of horizontal bands of colour punctuated by vertical plumes of smoke in the background.

Gallery label, October 2013