This drawing is a study for one of the 10 surviving glass transparencies painted by Gainsborough for display in his exhibition box.

The box and the transparencies were bequeathed to the V&A through the Art Fund by Ernest E. Cook in 1955. The composition of this study is simpler than the finished work. The drawing was rapidly and boldly executed, but does not have the character of a sketch. It is the only drawing identifiable as a study for one of the exhibition box transparencies. This work significantly augments the understanding of how Gainsborough conceived the compositions of the transparencies associated with his highly innovative exhibition box.


Sir Bruce Ingram; Sotheby's, 1964; Mr Salter; by descent; David Wilson, 2002. The work has been vetted by the Art Loss Register.

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