James Baker Pyne was a landscape painter in the Romantic tradition. Born in Bristol in 1800, Pyne was self-taught as an artist. His earlier work reflects the influence of the Irish painter Francis Danby, whom he met while working with other local artists in what came to be known as the Bristol School.
In the mid-1830s, Pyne moved to London, where he adopted the style of J.M.W. Turner. Like Turner, Pyne’s mature work often features diffuse light and emphasis on the emotional impression and heroic stature of the natural world.
For many years, landscape painting was considered to be of lesser importance than art which featured human figures. The rise of Romanticism in the 18th and 19th centuries rekindled interest in landscapes. In Britain, Turner became the most well-known and well-regarded artist to champion landscape painting and is often credited its elevation in status.
Pyne travelled extensively throughout Britain and abroad, and his paintings depict places including Wales, Cumberland, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He is perhaps best known for his images of the Lake District painted in the 1850s. During his life, his paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy, the British Institution, and the Society of British Artists, the latter of which he became Vice-President.
James Baker Pyne died in London in 1870.