Thomas Telford, 1757 - 1834. Civil engineer (after 1822)
About this artwork
Made after a painting by Samuel Lane of 1822, this print shows Telford seated at a table with one of his major structures, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, behind him. As ‘General Agent, Surveyor, Engineer, Architect and Overlooker’ of the Ellesmere Canal, Telford was responsible for the construction of the aqueduct which carries the canal over the River Dee. Completed in 1805, this ‘waterway in the sky’ required a rigorous knowledge of materials in order to stand 126 feet high at its centre and carry a pioneering cast-iron trough across a span of over 1000 feet. Sir Walter Scott described the structure as the most impressive work of art he had ever seen. Telford was also involved in the construction of many other canals, roads and bridges both in the UK and abroad.
- title: Thomas Telford, 1757 - 1834. Civil engineer
- accession number: SP V 240.4
- artist: William RaddonEnglish (active 1817 - 1862)
- after: Samuel LaneEnglish (1780 - 1859)
- depicted: Thomas Telford
- gallery: Scottish National Portrait Gallery(Print Room)
- object type: Work on paper
- subject: Industrial Revolution Engineering and construction
- materials: Line engraving on paper
- date created: after 1822
- measurements: 34.30 x 27.60 cm
- credit line: Purchased 1941
Raddon was an engraver who also worked as a designer and a painter. As well as portraits, his work often depicted entomological subjects. For this reason, his friend, Henry Fuseli, recommended him to the natural history illustrator, Sydenham Edwards, in an effort to gain Raddon commissions.
Born in Norfolk, Lane became deaf at the age of seven following what is thought to have been a fall into river mud. Despite leaving him unable to speak clearly, Lane went on to become a successful portraitist. He travelled to London in 1797 and for three years studied under the landscape painter, Joseph Farington. In 1800, he was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools and was taught by Thomas Lawrence - Lawrence then employed him as a studio assistant from 1802. Throughout his career Lane received numerous commissions, and he submitted over 200 paintings to the Royal Academy, exhibiting nearly every year from 1804-57.