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Key Information

Lot No.
ANDREW McCULLUM (1821-1902)
'The Black Country at Night'
inscribed as title and dated 1889 (lower right)
18 x 27 in

 Provenance: Private Collection, Aberdeenshire

McCullum studied at the Government School of Design at Somerset House, London where the artists Richard Redgrave and J.C. Horsley were also fellow students. He exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time in 1850. From 1852-1854 he lived at Stourbridge, where he worked as an art teacher.
Whilst McCullum remains best known as a landscape artist, he also did on occasion paint semi-allegorical subjects. The subject matter of the watercolour at Brightwells shows certain compositional similarities with an earlier oil painting by McCullum at The Manchester City Art Gallery titled 'The River of Life: Death'
In the Brightwell's example the artist depicts a desolate coast by moonlight, with scattered mines and fiery furnaces along a shoreline. In the left foreground a massive wave crashes against a building taking all in its path.The wave contains a swirling group of ghostly figures, rushing towards a seated figure of the Devil and Father Time holding a scythe. It perhaps suggests the artist's premonition of the passage of time for all humanity.
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