About this artwork

Studies of local industry such as this drawing of an open-air mill (used in the cleaning and thickening of wool cloth), are evidence of Sandby’s keen interest in mechanical technology and in attempts to improve the use of the land. As a subject, such processes were considered by him as worthy as traditional landscape views. The introduction of mechanised technology to rural ways of life improved local economies, which in turn benefitted local families. This is clear in this drawing where Sandby shows a respectable working family in the foreground. When compared with Sandby’s scenes of indolent city dwellers, it would seem that Sandby’s admiration lay with the productive rural workers.

  • title:
    Fulling Mill, Fife
  • accession number:
    D 136
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Pen and watercolour on paper
  • date created:
    About 1750
  • measurements:
    16.50 x 30.50 cm
  • credit line:
    David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910

Paul Sandby

Paul Sandby