Suffolk Landscape

Thomas Gainsborough
British (English) (1727–1788)
18th century
mid-1750s
Oil on canvas
25 1/8 x 30 1/4 in. (63.8 x 76.9 cm) Framed: 34 1/4 x 41 x 3 1/2 in. (87 x 104.1 x 8.9 cm)
ACF 1942.02
Currently Not On View
Gainsborough’s passion for landscape dated from his earliest years. The canvases he painted in his native Suffolk show his admiration for the Dutch seventeenth-century landscapes that were increasingly available in the English market, and which Gainsborough restored, copied, and later collected. The overall mood and massing of forms in this landscape derive from the compositions of Jacob van Ruisdael and other Dutch masters. Gainsborough’s familiarity with the works of Jan Wijnants is especially apparent in motifs such as the pollarded trees, travelers resting by a rutted road, and carefully observed plants. The degree to which these early landscapes represent specific sites has been debated, but clearly they express Gainsborough’s genuine delight in the peaceful bounty of the English countryside. This fresh and sensitive outlook influenced later generations of landscape painters, including John Constable, who wrote, “I fancy I see a Gainsborough in every hedge and hollow tree.”

Provenance

Frank Ernest Hills [d. 1896], Redleaf House, Penshurst, Kent, England; probably his widow, Mrs. Frank Ernest Hills (Constance Wynne-Roberts) [d. 1932], Redleaf House, Penshurst, Kent; (sale, Knight, Frank & Rutley, London, 27 June 1929, no. 23). (Leggatt Brothers, London). (Scott and Fowles, New York). Esther Slater Kerrigan, by 1931; (her sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 8-10 January 1942, no. 278); (Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York); purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1942