(London 1826 - London 1906)
Study of Trees and a Path in a Forest
285 x 254 mm. (11 1/4 x 10 in.)
The present sheet was formerly in the collection of Joan Linnell Burton (1909-1997), the great-granddaughter of John Linnell.
Both William and James Linnell were regarded by contemporaries as worthy successors to their father’s legacy. William Blake’s 19th century biographer Alexander Gilchrist noted that, ‘Both brothers were destined to become famous in the picture-loving world. The art of landscape-painting will be indebted not only to John Linnell whom two generations have delighted, and many more will delight to know, but to the Linnell family collectively. Time after time, James and William Linnell have evinced capabilities which might carry them onward to almost any point of attainment in the art. In both we recognise keen, fresh, strong feeling, vivid perception, plenteous, expressive, sometimes startling realization; qualities which they are able to develop and combine in a form equally grateful to the ruralist and to the lover of art.’
Writing a few years later, in 1872, an art critic further noted that ‘James Thomas Linnell...is entitled to share with his brother William the estimation in which their pictures are held by the amateur and collector, sometimes rivalling even those of his father...It is so rare an occurrence to find a picture by any one of the Linnell family bearing the distinctive title of the place represented, that one would naturally be led to suppose the compositions are merely imaginary; but this, as a rule, is far from the case. Surrey, and the wealds of Sussex, supply the artists with the ground-work of most of their beautiful compositions, and the localities may generally be recognized by those who are well acquainted with them.’
Martyn Gregory, London.