John Linnell

Reapers, Noonday Rest

1865

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 940 x 1397 mm
frame: 1180 x 1643 x 128 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894
Reference
N01546

Display caption

Linnell claimed that this work was ‘truer to Nature than most pictures’. However, he had been a friend of the visionary artists William Blake and Samuel Palmer, and there may be a more visionary quality to this scene. The theme of rural labourers at rest was familiar, but the glowing light and curious rhythms combine to create a quite original sense of monumentality.

Linnell’s poetic visions of the countryside, far detached from the sometimes harsh realities of rural life, were much sought-after by collectors. This painting is a replica, by the artist, of a work he had sold in 1862.

Gallery label, September 2004