Study of the artist's son, John

John Linnell British

Not on view

Linnell’s intimate sketch captures his twelve-year old son John supporting a large book and dressed in either a student's coat or country smock. The artist’s household at Bayswater, which then lay outside greater London, grew vegetables and kept bees, and those rural pursuits are perhaps referenced by the sitter’s garb, while the twisted pose centered around a large book echoes Michelangelo’s famous Prophets and Sibyls in the Sistine Chapel. Linnell had nine children when he made this drawing in 1835 and worked as a professional portraitist to ensure a reliable source of income, while also producing visionary landscapes.

Study of the artist's son, John, John Linnell (British, London 1792–1882 Redhill, Surrey), Black and white chalk on light brown paper

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