The Town of Linlithgow

John Clark

Coloured aquatint

published 1824
  • About the work

    While men and women work in the fields in the foreground, two gentlemen admire the peaceful, idyllic view of the town of Linlithgow in West Lothian, Scotland. To the left we see Linlithgow Palace, one of the principal residences of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. To the right of the palace is St Michael’s Parish Church and the town of Linlithgow itself.

    This is Plate nine of 35 Plates, drawn ‘on the spot’ and engraved by the artist, John Clark, as part of his series ‘Views in Scotland’ (1824-25). Clark’s views of Greenock and Linlithgow were ‘just published’ by Smith and Elder of Fenchurch Street, when they were advertised for sale in ‘The Examiner’ on 2 May 1824, priced at 10s. 6d. each. Generally, two Plates from the series were published each month, although an additional 36th Plate, showing the ‘Town of Tain’ (see GAC 3948), was added to the series in 1828. In July 1824 an advertisement in the ‘Aberdeen Journal’ for the views of Peterhead and Falkirk announced that ‘those who order a complete set will be entitled to the Historical and Descriptive Account of the whole Series and of Scotland generally, now preparing for this Work, and to be delivered with the last Engraving.’

  • About the artist
    John Clark, watercolourist and aquatint engraver, specialised in topographical, sporting and marine views. He remains something of a mystery today as virtually nothing is known of his life. This may be partly the result of his not uncommon name. Clark toured Scotland during the summer of 1823, making sketches for his series of aquatint prints ‘Views in Scotland’ (published in parts in 1824-25, under the patronage of George IV). Other works apparently in the same hand and presumed to be by John Clark are alternately signed ‘J. Clark’ and ‘I. Clark’. To further complicate matters, Clark’s work has frequently been confused with that of John Heaviside Clark (c.1771-1863), an engraver and painter of landscapes and seascapes, born in Scotland.
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  • Details
    Artist
    John Clark
    Title
    The Town of Linlithgow
    Date
    published 1824
    Medium
    Coloured aquatint
    Dimensions
    height: 38.00 cm, width: 56.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Sotheby's, 6 November 1957
    Provenance
    Purchased from Sotheby's, 6 November 1957 (lot 257) via Sabin Gallery
    GAC number
    3951