Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pyne, James Baker

PYNE, JAMES BAKER (1800–1870), landscape-painter, was a native of Bristol, where he was educated with a view to his becoming a lawyer, but his love of art early declared itself, and, although entirely self-taught, he soon gained a considerable local reputation. He left Bristol for London in 1835, and exhibited landscapes at the Royal Academy from that year till 1839. After this date he contributed almost exclusively to the Society of British Artists. He became a member in 1842, and was for some years vice-president of the society. He visited Italy in 1846 and in 1852, and in the former year also travelled through Switzerland and Germany, collecting material for future pictures. His art owed much to the influence of the later style of Turner. Though scenic and conventional in type, it had fine decorative qualities, while, in his drawings, it was marked by technical proficiency and a good sense of colour. His oil-pictures are very inferior to his water-colours. He was a frequent contributor to the ‘Art Journal,’ and published various series of his own compositions from time to time under the following titles: 1. ‘Windsor and its Surrounding Scenery,’ 1840. 2. ‘The English Lake District,’ 1853. 3. ‘Lake Scenery of England,’ 1859. William John Müller [q. v.] was his pupil. He died on 29 July 1870. Examples of his work, both in oil and water-colour, are in the South Kensington Museum. A bust of Pyne is at the Gallery of the Society of British Artists.

[Registers of Society of British Artists; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

W. A.