Portraiture was a necessity for Gainsborough but his chief love was landscape.

Much of his time was devoted to this pursuit, especially in the summer months when the pressures on him were fewer, and he continued to sketch from nature all his life. The composition of imaginary landscapes, in chalks and other media, was one of his principal relaxations in the evening when he had done with his sitters. This canvas, with its vigorous composition, is among the artist's more mature performances in this genre, being less imbued with sentiment. It also displays his remarkable skill at the rendering of water (his four seascapes date from these years). Purchased after a public campaign by the museum.

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