The mysterious effects of moonlight
are effectively suggested here by the
use of mezzotint. This technique differs from etching and engraving. Rather than working from light to dark by cutting lines, the mezzotinter burnishes away a rough burr on the plate where the light areas
are required. Strong contrasts of light and shade can be beautifully rendered using this method of printmaking.
The moonlit sky adds a sense of drama
to this industrial scene. Keelmen can be seen heaving coals from the barges, which sailed down the River Tyne from Newcastle.