Thomas Gainsborough

River Landscape with Cattle Watering and Ferry Boat

c. 1754-1756
Gainsborough had recently returned to his native Suffolk after an apprenticeship in London. This imaginary setting evokes the local landscape, and the incidental detail - the ferry, cattle, houses - typical of the country. Its commissioner would have seen in it a harmonious, idealized image of his own world. The work was painted to decorate a chimney piece, hence the tall vertical format. Gainsborough's landscapes drew upon both seventeenth-century Dutch examples and contemporary French painting, fashionable models familiar to the artist and many of his patrons. In painting the rich red earth of the foreground, he daringly exploited the possibilities of a limited colour range.
Title
River Landscape with Cattle Watering and Ferry Boat
Date
c. 1754-1756
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
124.5 x 99.1 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Gift of Balmore Limited, Montreal, 1998
Accession number
39829

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