The Head of Lake Windermere

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Hospitality, Lancaster House

    A similar view to this, also by James Baker Pyne, was lithographed by William Gauci and published by Thomas Agnew and Sons, Manchester, in 1853 as part of a set of prints collectively titled ‘The English Lake District’. The same image was later lithographed again by Thomas Picken for a series published by Day & Sons, titled ‘Lake Scenery of England’ (1859). The lithographed version is very similar to this painting, although the arrangement of boats is different and the left corner of the image is filled with trees and vegetation. Text accompanying the lithograph in ‘The English Lake District’ states:

    ‘The point of view selected by Mr. Pyne, for this picture, is a space behind the turnpike, on the road from Ambleside to the Lake, and we are here presented with one of the wildest scenes of the most important lake of the district. The principle mountains observable from this locality, are Loughrigg Fell, Langdale Pikes, and Oxen Fell Cross. These, with mountains of minor importance, constitute the picture.’

  • About the artist
    Landscape painter James Baker Pyne was born in Bristol, where he worked as a self-taught artist until the age of 35. He gave painting lessons to William James Müller, who later became an artist of repute. In 1835 Pyne moved to London, exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy, British Institution and New Watercolour Society over two decades. In his early period he painted views and scenery around Bristol but after 1835 he travelled to Italy and elsewhere on the Continent, gathering material to work up into finished pictures. Pyne was an admirer and imitator of Turner; his dramatic effects and use of pale yellow tones reflecting Turner's influence. Today, his records of works produced from 1840 to 1868 are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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  • Details
    The Head of Lake Windermere
    Oil on canvas
    height: 71.00 cm, width: 101.50 cm
    Purchased from Sotheby's, 6 July 1955
    bc (on windbreak): JB PYNE 1849 No 276
    Collection of Lady Holland; sold through Sotheby's, London, ‘Eighteenth Century and Modern Drawings and Paintings’ sale, on 6 July 1955 (Lot 163); from which sale purchased by Leggatt Bros. on behalf of the Ministry of Works
    GAC number