John Linnell Senior was a landscape and portrait painter. As a young man he became a pupil of John Varley; his fellow students William Mulready and William Henry Hunt became Linnell's lifelong friends. His further art training took place at the Royal Academy Schools. His early career was principally devoted to portrait painting; subsequently landscapes came to predominate in his output. John Linnell was a close friend of William Blake and became father-in-law to Samuel Palmer. In the course of his long career Linnell enjoyed friendly relations with many other artists, including the much younger generation of the Pre-Raphaelites. Linnell's landscapes are taken in the English countryside and often include figures and animals. They have a balance of composition and proportion which allows one to asociate Linnell with the European tradition of landscape classicism. — Christopher Newall
Linnell kept sketchbooks in which he recorded his finished pictures, divided into portraits and landscapes. In doing so he may have been paying homage to Claude Lorraine, who had created his famous liber veritatis to serve as a safeguard against forgery. Linnell lived in London until 1852 when he moved to Redhill in Surrey, where he remained for the last thirty years of his life. Three of John Linnell Senior's sons also became painters.
Crouan, Katarine. John Linnell: A Centennial Exhibition. Catalogue for an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven. Cakbridge: Cambridge UP, 1982.
Linnell, Tim. "A Introduction to Linnell Materials."
Linnell, John. Sketchbooks. British Museum.
Newall, Christopher. A Celebration of British and European Painting of the 19th and 20th Centuries. London: Peter Nahum, nd.
Story, A. T. The Life of John Linnell. London. nd. [full text]
Last modified 11 August 2001