The bridge was paid for largely out of Darby's own money in order to promote cast-iron and his Coalbrookdale Company.

The painting shows the patron's licence to distort the truth - Williams shows the bridge already in use yet it was not completed until the following year. Furthermore, the atmosphere is fresh and clean yet this stretch of the River was notoriously polluted and industrialised - the small house on the right emitting picturesque puffs of smoke was in fact a leading smelting factory and surrounded by brick and tile works.


Commissioned by Abraham Darby III; ...; Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners.

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