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Lead Processing at Leadhills

This unique set of paintings is among the earliest pictorial records of any industrial activity in Scotland. It documents the sequence of processing lead ore from the 3rd Earl of Hopetoun’s mines at Leadhills, in South Lanarkshire. The Earl, who appears in the first picture with the Countess, probably commissioned it. Allan’s illustrative approach suggests he was contemplating producing engravings of this original subject for wider distribution.

Credit: Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Galleries of Scotland, 2008

Probably 1780s
Oil on canvas
Image and text © National Galleries of Scotland, 2023

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