Linnell, John (1792 - 1882)
Sunset: Cloud Studies. Watercolour. Signed. c.1811. Verso: Study of a mother and child. Pencil and watercolour. Provenance: John Linnell; William Linnell, and by descent; Private Collection, London. Exhibited: Colnaghi, 'A Loan Exhibition of Drawings Watercolours and Paintings by John Linnell and his Circle', 1973, No.53; Fitzwilliam Museum and the Yale Centre for British Art, 'John Linnell - A Centennial Exhibition', 1982, No.13b; The Fine Art Society, 2008. 6.25x9 inches. Framed: 14x17.75 inches.


In 1811 Linnell underwent a religious conversion and spiritual awakening. Central to his faith was the notion expounded by William Paley that beauty in nature was evidence of God's existence. He felt the impulse to record nature more faithfully and his work took on a greater intensity. As well as landscape drawings he made a number of beautiful studies like this, recording natural phenomena such as sunsets, sunrises, eclipses and comets. Cf. No.46 by Cornelius Varley, who sent Linnell a copy of Paley's Evidence of Christianity in 1811.

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This work appears in the Exhibition: BRITISH WORKS ON PAPER 2024