Today he is remembered particularly for his association with William Blake and The Ancients at Shoreham and an artistic rivalry with John Constable.
However, an exhibition taking place at Guy Peppiatt Fine Art from October 2-11 highlights some of Linnell’s earliest works which record fragments of old London.
Linnell was 13 when he was apprenticed to John Varley, the watercolourist who urged his pupils to ‘go to nature for everything’. Linnell and his fellow students took to London’s streets and riverbanks to draw, creating plein air sketches in white or black chalk on coloured paper which provide a record of the capital as it looked in the early years of the 19th century.
Among the 27 works by Linnell at Guy Peppiatt next month are scenes of the Thames at Battersea and a distant view of Westminster Abbey. Pieces by Linnell’s contemporaries such as William Henry Hunt and William Turner of Oxford are also on show as are works by John Varley and his brother Cornelius.
The show includes some of Linnell’s later works which vary in geographical location and include scenes of Southampton, Sussex and North Wales.
Prices range from around £600-6000. Among the highlights are a precocious view of Finchley Common from 1805, which Linnell completed aged 13, and his view of Paddington fields from 1811.
Many of the works come from two private collections and some have never been seen on the market before.