© John Salt

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Ironmongers 1981
John Salt was one of the best-known photorealist painters in America during the 1970s. This painting is notable for being the first English scene he painted after his return to Britain in 1978 - it shows a shop in Ludlow, Shropshire, close to the artist’s home. Like all Salt’s paintings, it was painted using photographs and a slide projected onto the canvas. He used sign-writers’ paint to get a smooth effect and stencils to create some of the details. The scene is not one which normally would have interested the artist, but Salt was attracted to the scene by the strong sunlight, which reminded him of American light, and by the haphazard arrangement of the items and variety of textures. Like Salt’s more usual subject matter of abandoned American cars, this painting evokes times past.

Glossary Open


An extremely detailed form of naturalistic art, often based on photographs. The style is particularly associated with North American art of the 1970s.



  • Acc. No. GMA 2474
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 106.80 x 161.30 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1982