The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

John Linnell

John Linnell

A carte-de-visite portrait of the British artist John Linnell (1792-1882). A landscape painter who also painted portraits and water-colours, Linnell was both prolific and industrious. Three of his sons were also painters.

’Linnell was a little man, rather Semitic in appearance, brisk in manner, very alert and evidently endowed with extraordinary energy. He was in his way a patriarch, his sons and his sons’ wives living upon his estate, paying rent, of course, for Linnell did not willingly give! He exacted entire obedience from his children long after they had passed into man’s estate' [Sir William Blake Richmond in The Richmond Papers by A.M.W. Sterling, 1926].

One of his contemporaries later remembered him as ‘a strange, dry, withered old man […], quaint in speech, with strange utterances of strange opinions’ [W.J. Linton, Threescore and Ten Years, 1894].

Although he was a talented painter he was not particularly popular with the Academicians, ‘the reason being that he generally travelled third class, which only the very poor did in those days, and he usually arrived at the Academy with very dirty country boots and a red cotton pocket handkerchief’ [Jeannie Adams-Acton in Victorian Sidelights by A.M.W. Sterling 1954].

Photographed by Maull and Polyblank of London.


Code: 125613
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