Pyne, Thomas (1843-1935)

Pyne, Thomas (1843-1935)

British artist Thomas Pyne created atmospheric watercolours which celebrated the beauty of the British countryside. Pyne was the son of James Baker Pyne (1800-1870), a contemporary of Turner much celebrated for his own watercolour landscapes. His father was also part of the Bristol School, a group of artists who focussed on romantic, atmospheric evocations of nature.

This legacy is passed down into Pyne’s paintbrush and palette. Trees line a country lane, their spirited swaying encouraging the eye forward, promising further beauteous nature beyond the horizon. Cows graze at the edge of a river, the water a crystalline mirror, reflecting the cerulean sky dotted with billowing clouds.

Pyne exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, and critics often praised his compositions for their ‘artistic delicacy.’ He was also part of the Society for Painters in Water Colours, the first society keen to promulgate the place of watercolour as a rightful painting medium. Pyne did much good service for their cause, and it seems evident he travelled often in order to expand his vistas and views.

From Wales to Essex, Pyne sought to capture the soul of the country. He also spent some time travelling abroad in Germany and Italy. In one work the canals of Venice slither serenely past buildings towering overhead whilst men prepare a gondola for the water. No matter where he traversed, Pyne could turn his paintbrush to an evocative mastering of landscape.

Pyne would spend his latter years living in Dedham, Essex, and these examples of his work are perhaps the most passionate of his painted love letters. To the very last, Pyne celebrated the dynamic, profound nature of the British countryside.


Born in Fulham, London.


Exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and Suffolk Street.


Married Katherine Susan Salter.


Elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists.


Elected a member of the Royal Institute.


Became a member of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours.


Wife Katherine died.


Won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.


Married Elizabeth Mary Griffiths.


Became a member of the Ipswich Art Club.


Died in Essex.

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