John Linnell (British, London 1792–1882 Redhill, Surrey)
Watercolor over graphite
Overall: 4 x 5 1/2in. (10.2 x 14cm)
Purchase, Guy Wildenstein Gift, 2000
Not on view
Compact, luminous, and intense, this unkempt view of Kensington Gardens is deliberately unidealized. Beneath dense clouds and distant trees, two wooden poles and a shed with a tiled roof punctuate a raw, sloping patch of earth. Just twenty years old, Linnell had recently converted to a nonconformist Protestant sect, acquired a camera obscura, and, influenced by William Paley’s Natural Theology, sought direct proof of God’s creation in landscape. The meticulous representation of nature became a moral imperative. To achieve it Linnell developed a distinctive technique using small touches of pure color that anticipated the work of Samuel Palmer and the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The artist probably added the identifying annotation at the bottom of the sheet at a later date.
Inscription: Signed in pen and brown ink at lower left: "J. Linnell 1812" Inscribed in pen and brown ink at bottom center: "Kensington Gardens / about 1812 / No.1."
John Linnell (British, London 1792–1882 Redhill, Surrey)(and by descent to the following); Joan Linnell Ivimy, in 1993The artist's family by descent to John Linnell Ivimy, 1993; sold, Sotheby's, London, November 11, 1993, lot 108; Private Collection, United Kingdom London art market, 1999 (Spink-Leger Galleries).; Spink-Leger Pictures (London), ex. March 14-April 19, 2000, no. 50; Vendor: Spink-Leger Pictures (London)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 28, 2002–April 21, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," March 19, 2015–June 22, 2015.
Winter Exhibition of Works by Old Masters and by the Late John Linnell.. Royal Academy of Arts, 1883, cat. no. 143.
Loan Exhibition of Drawings, Watercolours, and Paintings by John Linnell and his Circle. Exh. cat. P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., 1973, pl. VII-B, cat. no. 19c.
Artist: John Linnell (British, London 1792–1882 Redhill, Surrey)Date: ca. 1833Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over graphite on cream wove paperAccession: 2014.636On view in:Not on view