Recognise this view? We create a 2012 version of Pratt's landscape
IT is hard to believe these two pictures show the same view of Derby – all that separates them is the passing of 160 years of history.
This stunning picture, up for auction tomorrow, shows just how the city has expanded since 1852, when Derby artist Henry Lark Pratt painted the View Of Derby From Rowditch.
Lucy Bamford, keeper of art at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, said: "Pratt's paintings may have been a little naive but his eye for detail and distance was fantastic.
"You can take a 19th-century map and work your way round the city from his paintings. They are that well structured."
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Working from left to right, Lucy helped explain what Pratt could see.
She said: "The building on the far left of the painting I believe is the Vernon Gate Prison.
"The large spire is the Bishop Lonsdale Diocese and Training College which originally trained school mistresses.
"To the right and slightly below this is thought to be the Mortuary Chapel of Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery. The cemetery is supposedly one of the oldest in the UK."
Many of Joseph Wright's family and Wright himself were buried there but their remains were moved to the Nottingham Road cemetery after the chapel was controversially demolished in 1967 to make way for the inner ring road.
Mrs Bamford said: "Wright and his family were moved to Nottingham Road cemetery and his gravestone is now mounted within the Cathedral, the tower of which can also be seen to the right of the tall steeple of St Alkmund's."
Sandwiched between these two towers is the small tower of St Michael's and to the right of the cathedral is the tower of St Werburgh's.
The large tower in the far distance between the college and St Alkmund's is St Mary's Catholic church.
Mrs Bamford said: "Finally, in the far right of the picture is the former Shot Tower which was situated in the Morledge area of the city."
This structure was used to make lead shot by dropping molten pieces of lead down the length of the tower into water at the bottom.
The molten lead, like any liquid, becomes spherical as it falls and, as it hits the water, it cools and creates solid shot.
Pratt began working for the Derby China works in 1820 where he developed a specialism for painting landscapes.
In 1851 he established himself as a successful painter of landscapes and animals.
Mr Bamford said: "While it is a lovely picture, it is not something that we would be looking to purchase as we already have another painting by Pratt from the same angle."
Maxwell Craven, local historian and author, said: "This style of painting was very popular at that time.
"Pratt in fact did a series of these type of paintings, including another that is held by the Derby Museum and Art Gallery that shows the view from the bottom of Chaddesden Hill.
"He wasn't the most gifted of artists but he was very accurate so it gives a good impression of how Derby looked at the time."
The painting will go up for auction on Friday afternoon at Mellors & Kirk auctioneers in Nottingham with a valuation of between £700 and £900.