Castlerigg Stone Circle,
Research Marjorie Gregson
Acc No 259
Artist James Baker Pyne
Artist dates 1800-1870
Lithographer Thomas Ashburton Picken (1818-1891)
Medium coloured lithograph
Date produced unknown
Donor Dr Michael Haslett, Poulton le Fylde
Date donated 2012
James Baker Pyne was born on 5 December 1800 in Bristol and became a landscape painter and watercolourist. Articled to a legal attorney, he taught himself painting and continued as a local artist until the age of 35. He was an early follower of Francis Danby.
In 1835 he moved to London and exhibited his work at the Royal Academy from 1836-55, the British Institute from 1828-63 and the Society of British Artists between 1833-70, where he was elected Member in 1842 and later became Vice-President. His subjects were principally landscapes, particularly river and lake scenes. After 1835 he travelled to Switzerland, Italy and Germany gathering material to work up into finished pictures.
He often painted in the Lake District, having been commissioned by Thomas Agnew and Son; the Lake District was a source of inspiration throughout his life. He painted a large series of oils depicting local people engaged in activities such as boating, fishing, ice-skating and walking, adding “a hint of picturesque detail of rural life”. Pyne was influenced by the works of Turner; his dramatic effects and use of pale yellow tones distinctly reflect Turner’s influence. A methodical artist he numbered, as well as dated, all his oil paintings.
He died on 29 July 1870 in London. His studio sale was held at Christie’s on 25 February 1871.
Works in public collections: Baroda, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bristol, Cardiff, Leicester,
Liverpool, Tate Gallery and V&A Museum London, Manchester, Sheffield, Melbourne
and Sydney Australia.
Thomas Ashburton Picken, 181801891, watercolourist and lithographer, was born in Govan, Glasgow and came from an artistic family. His father was an author, two of his brothers were lithographers and one sister was a miniature portraitist. Living for most of his life in London, Picken worked for the printing firm Day and Haghe (later Day and Son). He specialised in detailed images of landscapes, architecture and events concerning ships and war. A prolific illustrator of books, his lithographs are to be found in many collections. He died in The Charterhouse, an almshouse charity in Holborne, London.