This is a panoramic view of Holywells Park Ipswich looking north-eastwards, showing the series of man-made ponds constructed by Thomas Cobbold from natural springs to provide pure water for his brewery.

The careful depiction of the unusual formation of ponds in the foreground is characteristic of Gainsborough's style from 1748-50 and the dramatic treatment of the panorama with its atmospheric weather effects is strongly influenced by Dutch artists such as Ruisdael. Although Gainsborough lived in Ipswich for seven years, this rare early work is his only known depiction of the Suffolk town. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.


Palser Gallery; Charles E.Russell; anon sale Sotheby's 18/10/50, lot54; Bode; Spink's; Private collection, London.

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