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John Linnell (1792-1882) - Portrait of Captain Sutherland
  • John Linnell (1792-1882) - Portrait of Captain Sutherland

    John Linnell was taught by the watercolourist John Varley for a year in the early 1800s. This landscape influence remained throughout Linnell's career, and furthermore the use of the camera obscura which would have been brought to his attention through Cornelius Varley is present in many of his works. This contraption was an early precursor to the camera and helped artists to delineate an accurate landscape or portrait. Linnell most likely used it for this present study.


    This portrait of Captain Sutherland is almost certainly Alexander Milford Sutherland H.E.I.C.S. (1817-1875) who was the son of Sir James Sutherland and brother of Maria Anne, wife of Lieutenant General David Babington. An oil painting (see photos) was offered for sale in Toronto through the auctioneers Waddington's in 2003 that is a more detailed and finished version of the one we have for sale. It was painted in 1840 which is within the same time frame for our work, and was later exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1846 as number 1089. 


    Medium: Pastel and chalk on tan paper, inscribed Capt Sutherland upper right.


    53.5 x 37.8 cm, framed.


    Provenance: Abbott and Holder (labels verso).


    N.B. Note, photos have been taken under different light conditions to help show the details close up.

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