A view on Hampstead Heath

A view on Hampstead Heath



Thomas Christopher Hofland (1777-1843)
A view on Hampstead Heath

Oil on paper laid on canvas
24 by 35.5 cm., 9 ½ by 14 in.

Hofland was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and moved to London in 1811, having studied under the landscape painter John Rathbone (1750-1807). He produced copies of works by artists such as Claude Lorrain, Poussin, Wilson and Gainsborough and established himself as a landscape painter, especially of lake subjects. In 1839, he undertook an extended trip to Italy and travelled throughout the country making numerous sketches and studies. However, he fell ill and was forced to return to England, where he dies shortly after.

Hofland was in the vanguard of artists including John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, W.A. Delamotte and John Linnell amongst others who, from about 1808 began to concentrate on working directly from nature in oils. There is a similarity between the handling of this work and the work of John Constable who painted a similar view on Hampstead Heath in 1822 (see Graham Reynolds, The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, 1984, no 22.50, Private collection). Hofland exhibited a number of Hampstead views at the British Institution and in 1812 his address is given as 'Red Lion-hill, Hampstead.'