West front of Cathedral and Marketplace, Amiens, FranceArtist:
, British, 1855 - 1921
Material and Medium: pencil on paper
Dimensions: Support: 163 x 253mm
Accession Number: CGSG00485
Hackstoun worked on recording Amiens’ architecture after a commission from John Ruskin, who wrote about Amiens and its cathedral in his book, 'The Bible of Amiens', but also commented on drawings of the town by the artist Samuel Prout. Prout was famous for his outline drawing of picturesque architecture and his attempts to capture a town's charm or atmosphere in his drawings. Possibly Hackstoun has tried to replicate this in this drawing of Amiens' busy market-place.
The shoppers give this drawing a bustling character. Ruskin was well aware of the appeal of Amiens, when he wrote: 'I think the best way [to get to the cathedral] is to walk from the Hôtel de France… stopping a little as you go, so as to get into a cheerful temper, and buying some bonbons or tarts for the children in one of the charming patissiers' shops on the left.'