The painter’s presence: Thomas Baker on ArtUK

Today Dad told me that ArtUK has posted my piece about Thomas Baker, which is extremely kind of them. The paintings are all in national collections. This one is superb.

Baker, Thomas, 1809-1869; Landscape and Cattle near Offchurch, Warwickshire

Baker, Thomas; Landscape and Cattle near Offchurch, Warwickshire; Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/landscape-and-cattle-near-offchurch-warwickshire-19196

The is traditionally identified as a view of Offchurch. The diary reveals that it is Scene at Haddon, in the meadow opposite the Hall 1848 (Bantock House, Wolverhampton).

296b

That isn’t why the painting jumped out tho. Baker has found a view that looks just like a Dutch Golden Age landscape, and painted it like that through that lens. And I reckon you can tell because of the man behind the bare tree,  who looks first glance as though he’s pissing, til you see his fishing rod sticking out of the other side of the trunk. If that’s coincidence I’d say that the only green branch of the tree is the side he’s watering. That must be Dutch. Things like that give you a flash of the artist alive, and the diary is full of them.