The Coal Breaker

WAG 1780


Pennell greatly admired how “Rembrandt saw beauty in his father’s mills”. Rembrandt (1606-69) regarded windmills in the same way he saw ancient temples, as great structures of design, industry and power. This towering coal-breaker is shown at height. Pennell is making a direct comparison between Rembrandt’s mill and the modern day factory in this etching. He is assigning the coal-breaker the same authority and status as an ancient temple.