Thomas Picken was not well-known for his watercolour paintings, however he was a professional draughtsman and engraver, and exhibited ten watercolours at the Society of British Artists in the mid-1840s. Picken seems to have been one of the many people who responded to the dramatic engineering development in Folkestone which attracted visitors to marvel at new railway. He was probably joining his family holidaying in the locality, as there is evidence that he had spent time in both Sandgate and Folkestone, and witnessed the dramatic development of the resorts before his very eyes.
It is known that Picken worked on David Roberts' plates illustrating the splendours of ancient Egypt. He was also familiar with the ruins of Roman aqueducts and the way in which they can dominate a landscape, so was well aware of the parallels between Imperial Rome and Victorian Britain. This remarkable set of watercolour drawings emphasise the grandeur of Cubitt's massive structure.
[Stock No. 23908]