Barges by an Embankment
About the work
Two barges and a rowing boat are moored for loading or unloading at Chelsea Embankment in London. Several men are at work on the barges. Signs on the walls behind the boats read ‘Burton on Trent’ and also ‘Phillips Bros. Chelsea’. To the left of the composition is one of the lion’s head mooring rings, which line the River Thames.The Embankment at Chelsea was designed by civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette (1819–1891). Completed in 1874, it was initiated by the Metropolitan Board of Works as part of a scheme to provide London with a modern sewage system.
About the artist
Cecil Gordon Lawson, landscape painter, was born at Fountain Place, Shropshire, the son of portraitist William Lawson. His siblings included musician and composer Malcolm and illustrator Francis Wilfrid. The family moved to London when Cecil was ten and lived in Holborn and then Chelsea. Lawson learnt to paint watching his father and was also self taught. He made illustrations between 1870 and 1873, including a design for the magazine ‘Dark Blue’. He exhibited at the Royal Academy but, frustrated by how his work was received there, also showed work as the Deschamps’ and Grosvenor Gallery. He married flower painter Constance Philip and the couple moved to Haslemere in Surrey, where he died at the age of just 30.
- Barges by an Embankment
- Oil on canvas
- height: 39.50 cm, width: 59.00 cm
- Purchased from Sir Bruce Ingram, 1963
- GAC number