James Baker Pyne - inv. 35

James Baker Pyne (1800-1870)

Landscape with Peasants
1853
watercolour on paper  
33 x 48 cm
signature and date
"J.B. PYNE 1853"
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 35

not on display
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The painting is an example of a late Romantic landscape; bought probably by Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli himself, it documents the collector's familiarity with international art contexts, especially with England. Highly reputed locally, Pyne was active in London from the 1830s. Self-taught, he made his name also thanks to his skills as a lithographer, practised from the beginning of his career. He was well known as a landscape painter, inspired especially by the much visited Lake District, a beautiful region full of memories of the past and a celebrated touristic place for intellectuals and artists of the period.

Dated 1853, this painting shows an 18th-century attitude in its careful rendering of the luxuriant nature that tends to dominate the two human figures. Painted in a palette of a few brown and ochre tones, it nevertheless reveals a certain interest in the effects of light and of atmosphere, rendered in dense and vibrant pictorial strokes.

P.Z.