Gainsborough was, with Richard Wilson, a founding father of the British landscape school.

Unlike Wilson, however, he did not paint landscapes in the classical tradition, nor was he concerned with topographical accuracy. Instead, he created works that reflected his own intense poetic response to nature. He used the Dutch motifs of cottages, fallen trees, and wandering paths in his drawings of this period. The influence of both Ruisdael and Waterloo can be seen in the handling of the medium, particularly in the zig-zag strokes used in the modelling. The gentle rise and fall of the pathways take the eye to the horizon and the artist has brought two undistinguished trees into silhouette to serve as the centre of the composition.


With Somerville & Simpson Ltd; their anonymous sale, Christie's, 14/7/87, lot 31, bought in; private collection; with Stephen Somerville Ltd.

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