Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture, has come up with a brand new iMuseum (www.imuseum.im) giving its online audiences an even better view of the nation’s history and collections.
Image information: Goose Fair
Description: On first viewing, Hoepfner has produced an almost Dickensian view of the Douglas market, with its stalls groaning under the weight of geese destined for the Christmas table and the warm red glow of oil lamps in the windows. The painting is a study of light and darkness played out in a series of smaller scenes. The warm glow of the red light from the houses and the braziers (probably roasting chestnuts) in the market contrasts with the chill of the cold moonlight breaking through the dark ominous clouds and reflecting off the snow-covered roofs. Whilst the bottom half of the painting glows with a picturesque luminescence, the top half could be an illustration for a Gothic ghost story. Hoepfner has chosen an angle which makes the surrounding houses and church loom over the market place. He appears to have exaggerated the height of the buildings so that they tower somewhat forebodingly over the scene. The crowds in the marketplace appear as dark, anonymous figures, their faces only half-illuminated by the fires with only a handful of them having recognisable features.