Wooded Landscape with Mounted Peasants

Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727-1788)

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Gainsborough's imaginative and experimental exploration of landscape culminated in 1772 when he created this large, crayon-like drawing "in imitation of oil painting." In defiance of conventional distinctions between drawing and painting, Gainsborough developed an entirely new technique. He glued six sheets of paper together, drew on them with India ink and lead white, fixed the drawing with skim milk, mounted it on canvas, colored it with gouache, and then varnished it.

I'm Sick of Portraits, and wish very much to take my Viol da Gamba and walk off to some sweet Village, where I can paint Landskips and enjoy the fag End of Life in quietness and ease.-Thomas Gainsborough, 1772

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at aschlagenhauff@discovernewfields.org if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727-1788)
creation date
ink, lead white, and gouache on paper mounted on canvas
39-1/2 x 50-3/8 in.
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mrs. Nicholas H. Noyes
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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