In 1821 John Linnell visited Hampstead on a sketching trip with his friend William Blake, which inspired him to spend time here for the benefit of his family’s health and his work. Linnell rented Hope Cottage in North End the following summer, Wyldes Farm (then known as Collins Farm) the year after that. By 1824, he had decided to settle and began upgrading Collins Farm. He stayed until 1828, when he moved to Porchester Terrace in Bayswater to be closer to his studio in London, after his practice and reputation as a portrait painter grew. While in Hampstead, Linnell painted the Heath in different moods and climactic conditions, with some impressive skies.
Linnell was living in Hampstead at the same time as Constable but it’s not clear whether they knew each other well. Linnell’s was part of a group of younger artists centred around the poet and painter William Blake - Samuel Palmer, George Richmond, Frederick Tatham and Edward Calvert. For the four years that Linnell was living at Collins Farm it became an artistic centre and this group of artists would meet there to discuss ideas and to paint.