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E. H. Dixon (1821-1884) and north London watercolour landscape topography :: Peter Darley

  • Burgh House New End Square London, NW3 1LS UK (map)

E. H. Dixon’s 1837 painting of the Great Dust-heap at King’s Cross, Battle Bridge came to wider public attention through the 2011 Wellcome Library exhibition Dirt: the filthy reality of everyday life.

Edward Henry Dixon painted watercolour landscapes of north London, from Holborn to Hampstead and from Somers Town to Tottenham. Prosaic rather than elegiac, his paintings, alongside those of similar artists, represent an important social history at a time when landscapes were being dramatically transformed by the march of bricks and mortar.

Yet his paintings raise questions about the pitfalls in using such images as evidence of historical landscape - a subject little dealt with in any depth. What motivated his choice of views; how does his representation reflect the prejudices of the artist or his clients; and how reliable are the stated dates and captions?

We shall try to answer these questions in the talk, while enjoying his landscape paintings.

Our speaker Peter Darley is Secretary of the Camden Railway Heritage Trust, which he founded in 2007.

As this is our Christmas meeting, the talk will be preceded by mince pies and wine/fruit juice from 7pm.

Admission: Free to members. Non-members welcome (£2 at the door)