Patrick Nasmyth (Scottish, 1787- 1831)
Figures in a Landscape
Signed and dated, 'P. Nasmyth / 1810, lower right corner
oil on canvas
held in a giltwood frame
The Collection of the late Sir Peter and Lady Crossman, Tetworth Hall
Height: 18.11 in (46 cm) Width: 24.02 in (61 cm)
Patrick Nasmyth was born in January 1786 to a family of painters. His father, Alexander Nasmyth, specialised in landscape paintings. Nasmyth was one of eleven children, several of whom also became painters. Nasmyth had two strokes of bad luck in his early years. While preparing to go and sketch with his father, he injured his right hand and spent the rest of his career painting with his left hand. At age 17, Nasmyth was struck deaf.
He travelled to London in 1810 where he showed at the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists, and the British Institution, as well as important venues in Edinburgh.
Nasmyth is often referred to as 'the English Hobbema,' reflecting the influence of 17th century Dutch landscape artists including Meyndert Hobbema and Jacob van Ruisdael. One of Nasmyth's younger brothers, James, wrote an autobiography that features comments on Patrick's artistic education and development. He noted that Patrick enjoyed studying the form and qualities of clouds and took great enjoyment in painting skies. Patrick was most fond of capturing 'the careless grace of Nature' in his works.
Nasmyth died in 1831 at the age of 45. Nasmyth's gravestone reads, 'He was a native of Scotland, and his country as justly proud of his talents. As a delineator of landscape, the productions of his pencil, tasteful and vivid, reflect honour on the department of the British School. In his manner he was as modest and unassuming as in his profession he was skilful and eminent. This stone was erected by the resident Scotish artists in London - a humble but sincere tribute to his memory.'