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Canal at Newbury - John Linnell - Framed Print - 16"H x 20"W


Canal at Newbury - John Linnell - Framed Print - 16"H x 20"W

John Linnell was an English landscape and portrait painter and engraver. Linnell was a naturalist and a rival to John Constable. He had a taste for Northern European art of the Renaissance, particularly Albrecht Dürer.

Linnell was born in Bloomsbury, and was brought into contact with artists from an early age, and was drawing and selling portraits in chalk and pencil at the age of 10. His first artistic instruction was received from Benjamin West, and he spent a year in the house of John Varley, where he had William Hunt and William Mulready as fellow-pupils, and made the acquaintance of Shelley, Godwin and other men of mark.

He was admitted a student of the Royal Academy, where he obtained medals for drawing, modelling and sculpture. He was trained as an engraver, and executed a transcript of Varley's "Burial of Saul".

In later life he occupied himself with the burin, publishing, in 1833, a series of outlines from Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and, in 1840, superintending the issue of a selection of plates from the pictures in Buckingham Palace.

He painted many subjects like the "St John Preaching", the "Covenant of Abraham", and the "Journey to Emmaus", in which, while the landscape is usually prominent the figures are of sufficient importance to supply the title of the work. But it is mainly in connexion with paintings of pure landscapes that his name is known. His works commonly deal with some scene of typical uneventful English landscape, which is made impressive by a gorgeous effect of sunrise or sunset. They are full of true poetic feeling, and are rich and glowing in colour.

He devoted himself to painting landscapes notably of the North Downs and Kentish Weald.

Linnell was one of the best friends and kindest patrons of William Blake, to whom he introduced Samuel Palmer and others of "the Ancients". He also gave him the two largest commissions he received for single series of designs—£150 for drawings and engravings of The Inventions to the Book of Job, and a like sum for those illustrative of Dante Aligheri.

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