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. 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 17th-century Dutch and Flemish examples, as well as contemporary French painting – fashionable models familiar to 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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