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Derby Road, Peel

Date made: 1891

Artist: Goodwin, George

Description: George Goodwin is traditionally known for his rural views of the Isle of Man rather than urban scenes. In this picture Goodwin has produced an unusual view of Peel. Rather than using the more obvious subject of Peel Castle, 'Derby Road, Peel' describes the outskirts of the town where urban and rural life met.

A cart, with a man lying on top, rests seemingly abandoned in the middle of the road. Is the man guarding the load or hoping to get a lift? Curiously the bottom section of the picture appears to have been painted out. What was there originally and why was this section not simply trimmed off by the artist? Overall the work gives us an impression of what the outskirts of Peel looked like near the close of the 19th century and for this reason is an important historic record.

Goodwin perfectly conveys the smog and haze typical of towns and villages in the 19th century. In the case of Peel, the smoke over the town was not only due to domestic fires but the result of the various kipper yards (fish smoking houses). In Victorian times the urban blight of tightly packed terraces and streets would more often than not abruptly give way to open fields of sheep and cattle. This dramatic boundary between the urban and rural worlds is captured in this painting by Goodwin.

Measurements: artwork: 36 cm x 43.5 cm

Materials: Oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1956-0168

Subject tags : #artgalleryplace


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