Although he was a successful portrait painter at Bath and London, Gainsborough's passion was for landscape drawing. He sketched endlessly to find a pleasing composition in which certain simple elements – road, pool, figures, cattle, trees – recur time and time again. Gainsborough's landscape drawings, with their swaying trees, blurred outlines and soft atmospheric effect, are not so much topographical records as poetic recreations. The blue paper provides the middle tone which is modulated by black chalk and white chalk.
black chalk and stump, heightened with white on blue paper
17.8 x 21.6 cm sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Parramore Purchase Fund 1995
Not on display
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Forest and field: from Claude to the Barbizon School, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Jul 1995–17 Sep 1995
Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006
European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014
Referenced in 3 publications
Renée Free, Forest and field: from Claude to the Barbizon School, Sydney, 1995, 3 (illus.), 6.
Peter Raissis, Look, 'Early European works on paper', pg.20-23, Sydney, Aug 2014, 22 (illus.).
Susan Sloman, Gainsborough's landscapes, 'The mild Evening gleam', pg.61-75, 2011, 70 (illus.), 71. fig.18