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Steel Works, Cardiff at Night

WALDEN, Lionel (1861 - 1933)

Steel Works, Cardiff at Night

Date: 1893-97

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 150.8 x 200.4 cm

Acquired: 1920; Gift; Lionel Walden

Accession Number: NMW A 2245

Walden was born in Connecticut and studied in Paris, where he received a medal at the 1903 Salon. He exhibited at the Cardiff Fine Art Society in 1893 and was living near Falmouth in 1897. This painting of 1893–97 is based upon a small oil sketch, also in the collection. It is one of several large industrial and maritime views of Cardiff by the artist. His slightly smaller Les docks de Cardiff was purchased from the Salon des Artistes Français in 1896 and is now in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.


William Mills
24 May 2018, 04:08
Les Docks de Cardiff is currently in the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It looks wonderful.
Sheila Glover
6 November 2017, 12:07
Dear Marc,

Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. I think I would like a print of the larger work (NMW A 2245).

Kind regards,

Sheila G.
Marc Haynes Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
6 November 2017, 11:34
Dear Ms Glover,

Thank you very much for your comment. I see that you have also requested a print here, at the webpage for Walden's preparatory study for this painting. Could you please confirm that you do in fact want prints of both, or would you rather one or the other? I would then be happy to put you in touch with our image licensing team to have a print made for you.

Kind regards,

Digital Team
Sheila Glover
6 November 2017, 11:03
Fabulous painting. Please can you let me know if it is possible to buy a print?
John Richards
13 January 2017, 16:59

Walden seems to have painted a number of scenes around the area to the north of the docks in Cardiff, which was once a warren of railway lines at different levels between the wharves and the steelworks, and a hive of constant and unrelenting noise and activity. Melanie and Katheline's comment that there is no human activity does not ring true in my interpretation; there is almost nothing in the picture that does not represent human activity at it's most intense and industrious. No human figures are visible, but thousands are toiling in the steelworks, hundreds more on the railway, and more still on the docks and in the many smaller industries and workshops, all of it going flat out on shiftwork and ignoring the gloom and rain.

Mélanie Florian and Katheline Blasser
4 January 2017, 07:45
This picture makes me curious ; it gives me the impression that behind this scene there is a sad story
because of the dark colours in it . The industrial revolution is well evoked with the steam train , the
electricity , the booming activity in the docks. It is at the dawn of progress.
Human life seems to be absent in this painting, which creates a drab atmosphere
Claire Plé
30 January 2015, 08:00
Lionel Walden has created a dark atmosphere and it is typical of the time. This helps to imagine what life was like in the XIXth century, especially on the docks. The dark colors create a gloomy atmosphere.
Gary LEBOURGOCQ September 2013 Lycée de la Côte d'Albâtre St Valery en Caux
19 September 2013, 22:31
This painting is a true representation of the industrialization of South-East
Wales at the end of the 19th Century; there are many symbols of the age ; I think that the idea of progress is well conveyed !
Peter James
2 May 2013, 12:16
Very evocative painting...but the work was hot hard and backbreaking, accidents, (and there were many) were, if not fatal, certainly the end of many a man's working life. If it is possible to romanticise steel making, then Lionel Walden has surely done it, and moreover, left a legacy of the kind of steel works no longer to be found, certainly in the United Kingdom.
Terence Jones
23 August 2012, 13:41
The picture I really like is the one Cardiff Docks.
That picture shows the docks in their heyday of activity and remember at the time Cardiff was the biggest exporter of coal in the world.
I do like this picture as well
It has great realism of that period

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