12
February
17.00
Cost: Free

New Light on Early 19th-Century Art and Industry: South Wales Iron Making

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

New Light on Early 19th-Century Art and Industry: South Wales Iron Making

Lecture by John Van Laun, FSA

From the end of the 18th- into the 19th-century, South Wales was in the vanguard of the British iron industry and remained so until the advent of steel in the 1850s. During this period pictures of industrial holdings were commissioned by owner ironmasters. Through the application of industrial archaeology, it is possible to establish that their content is accurate. Furthermore the inclusion of documentary evidence reveals more, such as date and location. 

However artistic treatment varies by coinciding with prevailing values. Up until the 1830s ironmaster patrons required artists to temper the apocalyptic in their quest to be accepted as Country Gentleman.  However, paradoxically, as the march of industrialisation gained respectability ironmasters shifted their ground from ironworks being portrayed as country estates to one for celebration of what might be seen today as feral.  It was thus that by the 1840s the ironmaster was declaring his empire as an ennobled industrialist with an avenue to power at Westminster beyond County interests.

Event Location

Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House