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Landscape with Figures

(Haydon Bridge)

Date Uncertain

Oil on Canvas 13.8 x 16.7

Attributed to John Martin

Landscape with Figures (Haydon Bridge)

The painting was attributed to John Martin by its then owner, John Walton of Haydon Bridge, in 1923. It has been in the Laing collection since 1955. However, much recent research by Stan Mitchell, a local Martin enthusiast, has linked the landscape with Frederick Arnaud Tilt as being the real artist. He was an associate of the Walton banking family. Illustrated are the old almshouses completed in 1810, the Shaftoe Grammar School to the left and on to the South Tyne Valley and Henshaw in a Westerly direction. Martin left the village circa 1803 and, thus, the completion of the almshouses and Newcastle to Carlisle railway in 1834. Mr. Mitchell believes the railway to be hidden by lines of trees in the painting. There was, however, an 1841 landscape of 'Valley of the Tyne' near Henshaw at the R.A. in 1841? The hypothesis extends to the two characters who appear to be the book illustrator John Tenniel (Alice in Wonderland) and his father. Tenniel, who was facially disfigured as is the shepherd character in the painting, was friendly with the Martins and Tilt. He was also an executor of the will of a Haydon Bridge resident of Hill House also shown in the painting.

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