William Henry Hunt

Study from Nature at Twickenham

c.1806

Medium
Oil paint on board
Dimensions
Support: 330 x 168 mm
frame: 485 x 315 x 39 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1969
Reference
T01154

Display caption

Like Linnell, Hunt was apprenticed to John Varley in 1806, and joined him in oil-sketching expeditions at Twickenham. This study of a riverside tree is typical of the humble subjects they chose when sketching outdoors at this date, but is more fluid in its handling than Linnell's examples. Hunt's subsequent career as a watercolourist was to lead him into a different branch of naturalism: his studies of flowers, still life and his popular paintings of birds' nests have a Pre-Raphaelite intensity of detail far removed from the impromptu feeling of this sketch.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

William Henry Hunt 1790–1864
T01154 STUDY FROM NATURE AT TWICKENHAM circa 1806
Inscribed; see below.
Oil on board, 12 15/16×6⅝ (32.9×16.8).
Purchased at Christie's (Grant-in-Aid) 1969.
Coll: John Linnell; by descent to his great-granddaughter, Mrs John Lucas, sold Christie's, 10 October 1969 (59) bt. Butlin for Tate Gallery.

An inscription on the back, presumably in John Linnell's hand, reads: ‘Study from Nature at Twickenham By Wm Hunt about 1806’.

John Varley had a house at Twickenham, which his pupils John Linnell and William Henry Hunt used as a base for sketching expeditions (see Alfred T Story, The Life of John Linnell, 1892, I, pp. 25–6). Three of Linnell's oil sketches, including at least one made at Twickenham in 1806, are in the Tate Gallery (T933–5).

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1968-70, London 1970

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