A Prospect of Whitehaven, Cumbria by Matthias Read


This sweeping view of Whitehaven, Cumbria was painted between 1730 and 1735 by Matthias Read (1669–1747), the ‘father of Cumbrian painting’.

One of many oil paintings that Read made of Whitehaven, this version depicts Flatt Hall, the Cumbrian seat of the Lowthers, a family of wealthy landowners and politicians who planned, built and presided over the industrial reinvention of the town as a key coal exporter in the late 17th century. Sir James Lowther (c. 1673–1755) was the artist’s patron, and sole dedicatee of a later print based on Read’s Whitehaven works.

Full title:
Whitehaven, Cumbria, Showing Flatt Hall
c. 1730–35
Matthias Read
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, USA/ The Bridgeman Art Library

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The View from Brackenthwaite: Matthias Read’s Whitehaven Prospects

Article by:
John Bonehill
Transforming topography

Whitehaven, an industrial port in Cumbria, underwent rapid expansion in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. John Bonehill takes a closer look at Matthias Read’s prospects of the town in order to understand this shift in Whitehaven’s fortunes.

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