The Lamplighter

Original - Sold
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Artist: Graham Chalmers

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Framed Size 66 x 55.5 cm

Part of the Historic Lincoln Collection - Graham Chalmers, 'The Story Behind The Painting',

 "A combination of a cold, foggy evening and an old photograph of some ice cream sellers photographed in 1900 at this junction, were the catalysts for this painting. It is the junction of Thorngate and Broadgate (Magpie Square, Lincoln). With fog settling over the river and the imminent darkness it seemed right for a lamplighter to be present. Street lamps in the 1900 were mostly gas lit. In fact in the 1960s a lot of the street lamps, primarily in the back streets in many towns, Lincoln included, were lit by gaslight but with a different sort of ignition. Gaslight is a soft light and in the right circumstances can be homely and comforting especially in front of a blazing fire. Equally ocourse it can appear threatening on a wind spect night in dark alleyways and midnight approaching. Lamplighters, such as depicted in this painting, have a long history and must have been self confident and hardy souls to venture forth in all weathers. normally working alone, sometimes with others, but always in the dusk or darkness. Apparently there are still 1500 gaslit lamps in London serviced by five lamplighters. I decided to paint a nonthreatening, normal situation that would have been a common sight on urban streets for my lamplighter. Perhaps his biggest danger being the dog below!"

The original source photograph for this painting was used with permission of Lincolnshire Archives and can be viewed at Lincoln Central Library


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