- Museum number
Sketchbook quarter-bound in leather and marbled boards containing 96 numbered leaves with manuscript pagination, recording portraits painted between 1811 and 1860 (one painting retouched in 1876), with several sketches to a leaf, mainly on the recto and occasionally also on the verso; two blank leaves. c.1876-1882
Most sketches in pen and brown ink, often over graphite; one sketch in graphite
- Production date
Height: 191 millimetres
Width: 163 millimetres (covers)
- Curator's comments
- See the Register for a description of individual leaves.
The following text is from S. Lloyd and K. Sloan, 'The Intimate Portrait' (exh. SNPG & BM, 2008-9), cat. no. 146:
This sketchbook (open to folios 63v & 64r, portraits of 1835) is really a Liber Veritatis recording all the portraits Linnell painted between 1811 and 1860 and one self-portrait he retouched in 1876. There are 96 leaves, each covered with several sketchy records in pen and ink, inscribed with the name of the sitter, date, and variously with price, measurements, and other details. It was produced in 1879 with another notebook recording his landscapes and subject pictures for the benefit of his son James Thomas Linnell, with information based on his journals, cash account books and memory.
The opening here records the compositions, media and sizes of portraits made in 1835 of Keats, Mr Day, Mrs Price of Rugby, Mr and Mrs Stokes of Oakover, Derbyshire and the Reverend E. T. Daniell (BM 1932,1008.5). The prices are not recorded consistently in the later years but miniatures on ivory ranged from 20 to 30 guineas, small oils on panel or canvas from 10 to 30, life-size full lengths were 75 in 1838 and small watercolours on Bristol board were about 10 guineas.
Linnell's working methods have been described (see BM 1932,1008.5); many of his preparatory sketches and watercolours and one or two finished watercolours that record favourite sitters were presented to the Museum by Mrs Riches, the grand-daughter of the artist, in 1932. They include the portrait of his early patron, the Reverend Daniell, and a less finished 1842 watercolour of his mother Mrs Daniell. Sir Robert Peel, Lady Beauchamp, the Earl of Ilchester, and Arthur Aston were also included along with a beautiful finished double portrait of 1841 of Lady Emily and Lady Mary Lambton, the daughters of Lord Grey (1932,1008.18).
Having amassed a small fortune through his hard work, Linnell stopped portrait painting in 1847, and gave the rest of his years to landscape, his first love. In 1851 he moved his family to a house he had built in Redhill in Surrey on the edge of the North Downs.
SELECTED LITERATURE: H. Mallalieu, ‘Dictionary of British Watercolour Artists up to 1920’, 1976; Colnaghi’s ‘John Linnell and his Circle’, 1973, no. 77; K. Crouan (ed.), ‘John Linnell’, Cambridge 1982, no. 100(b); D. Linnell, ‘Blake, Palmer Linnell & Co.’, 1994; C. Payne, 'John Linnell', Oxford DNB
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1982 Oct-Dec, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 'John Linnell', no. 100b
1983 Jan-Mar, Yale Center, 'John Linnell', no. 100b
2008/9 Oct-Jan, Edinburgh, SNPG, 'The Intimate Portrait', no. 146
2009 Mar-May, London, BM, Room 90, 'The Intimate Portrait', no. 146
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number