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This print comes from Turner’s series, Picturesque Views in England and Wales. Here, however, rather than focusing on the conventionally ‘picturesque’ subjects of castles, abbeys or ruins, he puts industrial activity firmly in the foreground. Dudley’s convenient location at the heart England, in an area rich in raw materials, had helped its transformation into a busy industrial centre. But as so often with Turner’s landscapes there is still a pointed reminder of the past, in form of the ruined castle on the hill in the background.

August 2004