The Natives of Torneä Lapmark, assembled at Enontekis, to Witness the Launching of the first Balloon within the Arctic Circle

Edward Daniel Clarke (1769 - 1822)
Robert Pollard (1755 - 1838)

Coloured engraving

published 1 January 1819
  • About the work
    Country: Finland
    City: Helsinki
    Place: British Embassy

    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.

  • About the artist
    Edward Daniel Clarke was born in Willingdon, Sussex; the son of an antiquary, traveller and vicar. From a young age he was interested in all aspects of natural history. At 16 he entered Jesus College, Cambridge and in 1795 became a fellow of the College, later moving to a residence within the grounds. In 1799 he began a tour of Europe with pupil John Marten Cripps. They passed through Sweden into Northern Finland, where Clarke created and launched a hot air balloon, before continuing to Greece. Clarke was ordained in 1805 and appointed the first professor of mineralogy at Cambridge University in 1807. From 1810 he published a six volume account of his ‘Travels in Various Countries...’. He died in London and is buried at Jesus College.
    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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  • Details
    The Natives of Torneä Lapmark, assembled at Enontekis, to Witness the Launching of the first Balloon within the Arctic Circle
    published 1 January 1819
    Coloured engraving
    Purchased from parker Gallery, October 1960
    GAC number