Young Gainsborough’s drawings on display in Ireland
Thomas Gainsborough — Landscape beside a lake — c1746–1748
From 5 March to 12 June 2022, the National Gallery of Ireland presents “Young Gainsborough: Rediscovered Landscape Drawings”, an exhibition of 25 drawings created in his youth by Thomas Gainsborough, and recently attributed to the painter.
Source: National Gallery of Ireland. Image: Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788), Landscape beside a Lake, c.1746–1748. Royal Collection Trust
I paint portraits to live and landscapes because I love themThomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788) was one of the most successful English painters of his day, and as a result received numerous commissions from the British aristocracy, who relied on him to create their usually refined and sophisticated portraits. But Gainsborough never abandoned his fondness for landscape painting, which can be seen in works such as his famous “Mr and Mrs Andrews” (1749), in which the landscape is arguably more prominent than the figures portrayed.
The 25 drawings on display were created by Gainsborough during his formative period and reveal the artist’s interest in depicting the natural environment. Until 2013, when research by Lindsay Stainton re-attributed them to Gainsborough, the drawings -acquired by Queen Victoria in 1874- were thought to be the work of Sir Edwin Landsee. Shown for the first time in Ireland, these drawings by Gainsborough are exhibited alongside those of other Dutch artists who influenced him.
Anne Hodge, curator of the exhibition, explained: “The 25 drawings at the heart of this exhibition represent an exciting new addition to Thomas Gainsborough’s known oeuvre. Rediscovered recently within the Royal Collection at Windsor, they give a sense of Gainsborough’s youthful enthusiasm for nature. The chalk drawings have an immediacy that allows us to imagine the young artist, sitting on a sandy bank, quickly sketching the trees and vistas near his home in rural Suffolk. The exhibition provides a rare opportunity for us to see his early drawings beside the famous landscape painting ‘Cornard Wood’ that they inspired’’. #2022 #NationalGalleryofIreland #theartwolf #ThomasGainsborough