Sheffield, from the Norton Road near Meersbrook
Coloured aquatintpublished 1826
About the work
This picturesque view of the Yorkshire Dales includes a distant view of the town of Sheffield. Sheffield has been noted for the production of knives since the 14th century and by the early 1600s was the main centre for the production of cutlery in England, outside London. Techniques for producing high quality steel and silver plating in the city developed during the 18th century but the loss of important export markets led to a decline in the city’s fortunes during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Shortly after this print was published, in 1832, a cholera epidemic killed 402~people in Sheffield.
Thomas Christopher Hofland painted numerous views of the city, including oil paintings of 'Sheffield from Crookes' (c.1826) and 'Sheffield General Cemetery' (1840), both now in the collection of Museums Sheffield. His 1810 marriage to writer Barbara Hoole, who came from Sheffield and had a son from a former marriage to local businessman Thomas Bradshawe Hoole, may explain the artist’s link to the area.
About the artist
Thomas Christopher Hofland, landscape painter, was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. He was a pupil of landscape painter John Rathbone and later taught painting in Kew. In 1805 he moved to Derby and continued his teaching career, relocating again to Leeds in 1808. In 1810 he married Barbara Hoole, a writer of text books and children’s fiction. Hofland was never elected a Royal Academician and in reaction took a leading role in creating the Society of British Artists in 1823, where he showed at least 119 works. Hofland’s subjects are almost exclusively British and include views of the Lake District and country houses. In 1840 he travelled to Italy, staying near Rome and Naples. He died of stomach cancer at Leamington Spa.