James Thomas Linnell – Nr Capel Curig (North Wales)


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Signed with the artist’s initials in pencil and inscribed Nr Capel Curig 1860 (lower right). Coloured chalks on buff paper, presented in a new mount.

Image: 10 1/4 x 14 1/4 in. (26.1 x 36.2 cm.)
Mount: 16 1/8 x 19 5/8 in. (41.2 x 50 cm.)


On the 30th of August 1860, James Linnell (son of the artist John Linnell) married Elizabeth Muskett Yetts. They were away on their honeymoon in Wales for over two months walking and sketching before returning to their new house which was built at the southern end of Redstone Wood at Redhill, near his family home. Capel Curig was a popular destination for travellers and was painted frequently by many leading artists including David Cox.


Linnell, James Thomas (1820-1905)

The second son of the landscape painter John Linnell, James Thomas Linnell studied at the Royal Academy Schools alongside his two brothers John and William. (His sister Hannah married the artist Samuel Palmer, whose influence can be seen in much of James’s work.) According to a contemporary biographical dictionary, James Thomas Linnell ‘inherited not a little of his father’s talent’, although his palette was perhaps somewhat brighter. He exhibited almost annually at the Royal Academy between 1850 and 1888, at first showing religious subjects in which the landscape predominated; The Temptation in the Wilderness, exhibited in 1850, was followed a year later by Job and the Messengers. By the middle of the decade, however, he was exhibiting mainly landscapes with peasants, farm labourers or children - with titles such as Wheat-Field, Haymakers, Plowing, A Country Road and A Mower whets his Scythe - and it is for these pastoral landscapes that he is best known today. Works by James Linnell are today in the museums of Bradford, Brighton, Cardiff, Gateshead, Harrogate, Leeds, Manchester, Okehampton, Sheffield, Rochdale and Wolverhampton. Many of James Thomas Linnell’s landscapes were painted in and around the Redstone estate at Redhill, near Reigate in Surrey, which his father John Linnell had acquired in 1851 and where all the members of the family lived. Writing in 1872, one critic 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.