(London 1792 - Redhill 1882)
Southampton from the River near Netley Abbey, Hampshire
Signed, inscribed and dated Southampton J Linnell 1819 at the lower centre.
162 x 491 mm. (6 3/8 x 19 3/8 in.)
As the Linnell scholar Katherine Crouan has noted of the artist’s early works, ‘The skill and power which Linnell brought to his landscape studies from 1811 resulted in a plein air freshness, the most convincing local colour, a remarkable handling of sunlight and shade, and an ability to convey the expanse of landscape through the sum of its minute particulars…Long after many of his contemporaries had retreated to their studios after a brief bout of plein airism early in the century, Linnell continued to paint in oil out of doors, at Cullercoats in 1817, Netley Abbey in 1819, Hampstead in 1821 and 1827 and Bayswater in 1834…With rare exceptions, Linnell never parted with his studies in oil or watercolour, and he didn’t sell them. They were the raw material for his painting, essential for their documentary value but not in themselves art…It was not that Linnell demeaned his studies from nature; he believed that his sketches were the means to an end…However, although Linnell thought of his most intensely naturalistic work as merely factual information about nature, to be re-organised into a personal statement, the sketches he made between 1811 and 1819 take naturalism to the level of a visionary intensity…the sketches Linnell made from 1811 to 1820 provided [him] with material for a lifetime’s work.’
Both this watercolour and the related painting were in the collection of the English painter, writer and curator Lawrence Gowing RA CBE (1918-1991).
Thence by descent.