A & A art and architecture spacer courtauld institute of art spacer
quick search advanced search browse temp folder
Wooded landscape with herdsman, cows and sheep
enlarge image zoom image

Wooded landscape with herdsman, cows and sheep


Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)

Pen and ink, chalk (white), bodycolour on paper

Width: 35.2 cm; Height: 27.3 cm;

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Spooner, William (Mr and Mrs); bequest; 1967

About this work
Towards the end of his life, Gainsborough wrote to a friend of his desire to retire to “some sweet village, where I can paint Landskips”. However, his career kept him in London until his death. He liked to construct imaginary landscapes by grouping small stand-ins, such as coal for rocks and broccoli for trees, in rhythmic compositions. As he described, figures like the herdsman were placed “to create a little business for the eye to be drawn from the trees in order to return to them with more glee”. Landscape drawings offered Gainsborough the chance to explore his love of drawing and of the countryside. (Permanent collection label)

This work is not on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

spacer spacer spacer spacer