This major late landscape depicts an evening at sunset in a woodland setting.

It depicts a sequestered cottage, cattle, peasants and their children, with a woodman and his dog returning from labour. The whole is heightened by a brilliance of water and sky. Gainsborough may have been making a social comment about the agricultural revolution and the effect it had on those who worked the land, but it may also be seen as his own visual escape and refreshment from the social shackles of portrait painting. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.


Joseph Gillott, Christie's, 1872; Agnew's; Kirkman D.Hodgson; R.K.Hodgson, sale Agnew's, 1889; Sir Edward Guinness, later 1st Earl of Iveagh; by descent to Walter Guiness, 1st Lord Moyne; by descent to present owner.

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