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James Eckford Lauder - James Watt And The Steam Engine (1855)
James Watt (1736-1819) is shown devising a major improvement to Glasgow University's inefficient Newcomen steam engine, an enhancement which he patented in 1769. Watt’s improved steam engine was more efficient and used pressurised steam to produced upwards and downwards power strokes. It totally eclipsed Newcomen’s engine. This history painting with a modern hero is unique in Lauder's career, his other work being mainly illustrations to Scott or Shakespeare, together with biblical episodes or portraits. This painting of James Watt is strongly influenced by the eighteenth century artist Joseph Wright of Derby's night scenes depicting scientific inventions.
lauder (james eckford) - James Watt And The Steam Engine- The Dawn 1855 Edimbourg, National Galleries of Scotland.jpg
Sir William Quiller Orchardson - master baby (1886)
This informal study of the relationship between a mother and her baby makes a refreshing change from the sentimental interpretations of such subjects favoured by many contemporary Victorian artists. The baby is clearly fascinated by his mother's fan which is held teasingly above him. Orchardson based the scene on his own family life, using his wife, Ellen, and son Gordon, as models. The impression of spontaneity was, in fact, the result of detailed planning through preparatory drawings, and Orchardson's balanced composition reflected the influence of the work of the Japanese printmaker Utamaro. Degas and Sickert were among the painting's enthusiastic admirers when it was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, London, in 1886.