In this engraved scene a hot air balloon has just risen from the ground; according to the inscription the first to have been launched ‘within the Arctic Circle’. A figure holds the burning torch, just used to light the burner of the balloon, and two figures with wooden poles have presumably just used them to encourage the balloon to rise. Local people clap and cheer in delight at the sight of the curious demonstration before them.
Torneä Lapmark in Sweden and Enontekiö (Enontekis in Swedish) in Northern Finland - both mentioned in the title of this work - are provinces of Lapland, located close to the border where Finland, Sweden and Norway meet.
Robert Pollard was born in Newcastle and apprenticed to a watchmaker. He moved to London in 1774 and trained under painter R. Wilson and engraver I. Taylor. By 1781 he had settled in Islington, where he set up as an engraver and publisher. His earliest prints were views of naval actions. Pollard frequently worked with engravers R. Dodd and N. Pocock and sometimes published his own designs. Many of his prints combine different methods of engraving, although aquatint was often added by a specialist. In 1789 he was elected Director of the Incorporated Society of Artists. Pollard moved to Lower Holloway in 1810, selling his print stock, but there he began publishing sporting views, mostly designed by his son James (1792-1867). He died aged 83.
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