A View Of Folkestone.
The painting has been relined and retouched where there was previous damage, otherwise in excellent condition.
No date but c.1786.
Expansive view of the fishing village of folkestone from the east. parish church can be seen on the hilltop and the fishing village at the bottom of the cliffs. three fishermen on the beach, and two fishermen in a rowing boat, are working a trammel net. ships are drawn up on the beach, and the three primitive jetties are shown, which, until the harbour was commenced in the early 1800s, were all the men of folkestone had. an interesting feature of the picture is the two strange mounds in the middle distance below the leas. these were the result of the extensive landslide of west cliff which happened in 1784 when a huge section of the cliff detached itself and slid down into the sea. the two great mounds were visible on quite a few illustrations of folkestone pre-1850. after that, it appears that the large accumulation of soil had been used for the formation of the first harbour, and the building of the lower sandgate road.
Oil on canvas on a wooden stretcher: 15.5" x 21" Landscape orientation
This painting is known to exist in several versions, a practice that was not unusual at this period. An artist who created a popular image often painted it more than once. An engraving of this picture was published by S. Middiman in 1787. It was etched by Middiman and engraved by W. Ellis and published in a book by Middiman entitled "Select Views in Great Britain" first published in 1792. The book was published as a result of the growing popularity in the cult of the Picturesque, begun by admirers of Claude Lorraine and followers of Gilpin in this country. The ideas loosely are to capture dramatic scenery of a wild and remote nature. This idea also greatly appealed to the Romantic Movement. This painting is the earliest image extant of Folkestone that we have managed to trace and it captures how the town looked before the construction of the port and the arrival of the railway, which were so dramatically to change the town.
[Stock No. 25078]