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Oil painting - The Wildflower Gatherers
  • The Wildflower Gatherers
    Linnell, John II the younger, born 1792 - died 1882
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The Wildflower Gatherers

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1831 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Linnell, John II the younger, born 1792 - died 1882 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on panel

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122

Object Type
Oil paintings with sentimental scenes of children in the countryside became popular with collectors such as John Sheepshanks and the Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend, as well as with the Victorian public in general.

John Linnell (1792-1882) was the son of a printseller and framemaker who became a prolific artist and printmaker. He exhibited many works at the Royal Academy, the British Institution and the Old Watercolour Society. He was associated with other famous artists of his day, including William Henry Hunt, William Mulready, Dr Thomas Munro and later, William Blake. His views of landscape and of children are much more idiosyncratic than the average Victorian painter and reflect a more intense and romantic view of nature.

Subjects Depicted
One of the most consistently attractive subjects for paintings and prints during the reign of Queen Victoria was that of children, usually at play, in the idyllic setting of the countryside. These sentimental scenes were in part catering for nostalgia felt by many who had spent their childhood in the countryside, but had been forced to leave it. As the century progressed, the majority of the population began to move to towns and cities filled with raw new buildings, the streets polluted with coal smoke and without wild flowers. Linnell's painting depicts an even more distant image for modern viewers, as flower-rich meadows have become increasingly rare in Britain and modern herbicides ensure that there are no weeds (wildflowers) in commercial cereal growing.

Physical description

Oil painting entitled 'The Wild Flower Gatherers', depicting a group of children seated in a field. Dated 1831.

Place of Origin

Britain (painted)


1831 (made)


Linnell, John II the younger, born 1792 - died 1882 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on panel

Marks and inscriptions

'J Linnell 1831'
Signed and dated by the artist, lower right

Inscribed on back


Height: 15.8 cm, Width: 20.9 cm, Depth: 5 cm, Height: 32 cm framed, Width: 36.5 cm framed

Object history note

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857. By John Linnell (born in London, 1792, died in Redhill, Surrey, 1882)

Exhibited at the British Institution 1831

Descriptive line

Oil painting entitled 'The Wild Flower Gatherers' by John Linnell. Great Britain, 1831.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, p. 177

Labels and date

British Galleries:
John Linnell's affectionate scene of children gathering flowers is exactly the kind of painting that was described by museum administrator Richard Redgrave as 'a home delight' and a subject 'such as we can live by and love'. The small scale and simplicity were qualities he admired in paintings by living artists. [27/03/2003]


Oil paint; Panel


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Children; Flowers; Rural scenes


British Galleries; Paintings; Children & Childhood


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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