In Eberswalde Blechen saw the brass-works on the Finow Canal, one of the first metalworking factories in the Mark Brandenburg. Impressed by the sheer size of the works, he made several drawings on the spot, which served as the basis for this painting. What appears as prosaic industrial reality in the sketches is ennobled in the oil painting and at the same time distanced by the figures in the foreground. An angler sits thoughtfully on the banks of the Finow Canal, while two other fishermen are pulling in their nets: an idyll very much in the tradition of the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, while the rolling mill rises up threateningly in the background like a mighty fort. Heavy, almost leaden smoke pours out of the chimney stacks into the clear, yellowish evening sky, casting a greenish-black shadow on the water. This work counts as one of the earliest European depictions of industrial sites, along with Christian Koester’s 1810 Stauf Copperwire Works with Neu-Leinigen and Alfred Rethel’s 1834 Harkort Factory.


  • Title: The Neustadt-Eberswalde Rolling Mill
  • Creator: Carl Blechen
  • Date Created: around 1830
  • Physical Dimensions: w330.0 x h255.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on Wood
  • Inv.-No.: A III 860
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist biography: Carl Blechen was a German landscape painter. After an apprenticeship as a banker, Blechen started his art studies at the Academy of Arts in Berlin in 1822. He made various study tours within Germany and spent some time in Italy before becoming a professor at the Academy of Arts in Berlin in 1835. The well known architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel appreciated his works and strongly recommended him for the post. Blechen repudiated Romanticism and was an exponent of a new realism. Considered a pioneer for his brilliant effects of light and colour, many of his paintings are distinguished by their brightness, rendered with a lightness of touch. 'View of Assisi' (1832–35) and 'Palm House on the Pfaueninsel near Potsdam' (1832–34) are among his most famous compositions.
  • Artist Place of Death: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Cottbus, Germany
  • Artist Dates: 1798-07-29/1840-07-23

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