James Baker Pyne
English Painter, 1800-1870
He was articled to a Bristol attorney, but around 1821 he took up painting and exhibited at the Bristol Gallery of Arts in 1824. Apparently self-taught, he worked closely with the Bristol artist Samuel Jackson (1794-1869) for a time and was influenced by the poetic landscapes of Francis Danby. In 1835 he moved to London and exhibited at the Royal Academy the following year. He showed seven pictures there altogether, but he also exhibited at the British Institution and showed 206 works at the Society of British Artists. Although technically accomplished, Pyne's work is curiously lacking in distinction. He imitated many artists but never found a style of his own. His early views of Bristol are among his best work, a good example being View of the Avon from Durdham Down (1829; Bristol, Mus. & A.G.). He also painted some lively coast scenes such as Whitby (Leicester, Mus. & A.G.). He was less successful when emulating J. M. W. Turner.