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Gainsborough may have made a handsome living painting fashionable society figures in Bath and elsewhere, but his private passion was landscape.
This major exhibition at the newly renovated Holburne Museum is the first devoted entirely to Gainsborough's pictures of the countryside, bringing together loans from private and public collections. It examines the development of his style and his recurring motifs, covering the early naturalism of his Dutch-inspired Suffolk canvases as well as grander scenes with dramatic lighting and pictures where rustic figures take centre stage.
Famous and popular works, including The Watering Place (on loan from the National Gallery), will be displayed alongside less well-known works, including the ravishing Haymaking from Woburn.The landscapes have been selected to represent six themes, tracing the evolution of Gainsborough's style from naturalistic landscapes in the Dutch style, to fantastic scenes such as the Royal Academy of Arts' Romantic Landscape. Another piece, Girl with Pigs, showcases the rustic figures which were closely integrated with Gainsborough's landscapes.