Portrait of a mother and child

John Linnell British

Not on view

This delicately rendered study demonstrates Linnell’s mastery of intimate portraiture, a genre popularized in England in the eighteenth century that included miniatures painted on ivory as well as drawings. Here, the artist enhanced the lifelike effect by applying tiny touches of color to the eyes, lips, and cheeks of the unidentified sitters. Linnell started his career as a landscape painter but after he married turned to portraiture as a more reliable source of income for his family. He also supported fellow artist William Blake by commissioning engravings and watercolors, providing his friend with a steady income late in life.

Portrait of a mother and child, John Linnell (British, London 1792–1882 Redhill, Surrey), Graphite with watercolor and gouache (bodycolor)

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