Buxton Museum acquires painting depicting Georgian Matlock becoming a spa resort

By Richard Moss | 27 May 2011
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a landscape painting showing a river valley with hills and trees on one side and Georgian Houses next to a road on the other
View of Matlock, Derbyshire by William Marlow (c 1780)© Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is closing out its successful exhibition about Joseph Wright and Georgian Derbyshire with the acquisition of an oil painting showing the development of nearby Matlock as a Georgian tourist spot.

View of Matlock, Derbyshire by William Marlow (c 1780) depicts the rich, lush countryside surrounding Matlock Bath where beside the pretty rapids of the River Derwent a budding hotel is on the verge of renovation.

The Old Bath Hotel was built in 1734 as Matlock became famous as a spa-resort, sought out for its ailment-curing qualities and relaxing scenery.

Marlow was born in London in 1740, studying under the marine painter Samuel Scott, and also at the St. Martin’s Lane Academy. Typical of Marlow’s style the Matlock painting shows people going about their daily business – walking, fishing and riding.

In private hands since at least 1936, it cost £20,000 at auction with The Art Fund contributing £6,666 towards the acquisition.

It joins a print at the museum by John Bluck dated to 1805, which shows the Old Bath Hotel and improvements to the road layout.

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