John Linnell
Contemplation 1864–5

Artwork details

John Linnell 1792–1882
Date 1864–5
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 718 x 997 mm
frame: 1050 x 1335 x 130 mm
Acquisition Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894
Not on display

Display caption

This picture shows a shepherd at rest, reading, while his sheep are gathered nearby. With its loving treatment of the trees and intense colour and light, Linnell’s painting carefully fabricates an ideal of the countryside as a place of plenty and ease. It was, though, created at a time when agriculture and rural labour were undergoing traumatic changes.Linnell’s depiction of the landscape reflects his passion for the scenery around his home at Redhill, Surrey. Like his friend, Samuel Palmer, he presented a vision of the British landscape rich in poetic and spiritual associations.

July 2007

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