Painted by much-loved English artist L.S. Lowry in 1959, Deptford Power Station is shown with its chimneys belching black smoke into a pale sky.
In front of the power station, boats are ranged, recognizable by their smoke stacks.
Thickly painted and bleached of colour, the impact of the picture is the contrast between light and dark, with colour used sparingly; mainly ochre, blue, black, red and white.
Lowry (1887–1976) has been described as a great visual recorder of the last days of the Industrial Revolution (18th–19th centuries), but painted very few pictures of London. He was concerned with immense industrial buildings at the heart of industrial towns, and the effect of these landscapes on the inhabitants. He was an observer and wrestled with isolation and depression for much of his life.
Here the humans have been pushed to the far left of the picture space looking over the quay. Cranes rise out of the mist on the far right. Lowry's interpretation is a disquieting vision, revealing a sense of alienation and man's inconsequence against the juggernaut of industrialization.
Plan your visit
Come and see Lowry's painting and other great art in the Queen's House.
Open daily, 10am-5pm.