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Linnell first met Blake in 1818 and discovered an immediate affinity with the artist. Both men considered that the natural world was a reflection of the spiritual world. They were also both proud of their working-class origins and not ready to conform to the niceties of polite society. As well as introducing potential patrons to Blake, Linnell commissioned the Job engravings and the Dante subjects, examples of which are exhibited nearby. In 1851 Linnell settled in Redhill, Surrey. The landscapes he painted in his later years, often in the vicinity of Redhill, are pastorals like 'Harvest Home', intended to evoke a golden, rural past. His contemporary reputation was based on pictures such as these, and also on his portraits.

August 2004