John Linnell England
6-16-1792 London, ENG – 1-20-1882 Surrey, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
His father was a carver and gilder and John Linnell 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 the watercolor painter, where he had William Hunt and William Mulready as fellow-pupils, and made the acquaintance of Shelley, Godwin. In 1805 he was admitted a student of the Royal Academy, where he obtained medals for drawing, modelling and sculpture.
In later life John Linnell 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, one of them, a Titian landscape, which he engraved in mezzo tint. At first he supported himself mainly by miniature painting and execution of larger portraits, such as the likenesses of Mulready, Richard Whately, Peel and Thomas Carlyle.
John Linnell 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 connection with paintings of pure landscapes that his name is known. Linnell commanded large prices for his pictures.
He devoted himself to painting landscapes notably of the North Downs and Kentish Weald. John Linnell was one of the best friends and kindest patrons of William Blake. He 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.
Art Movement: Romanticism
Influences: Benjamin West, John Varley