Wooded Landscape with House and Figure


Wooded Landscape with House and Figure


Thomas Gainsborough
English, 1727–1788


c. 1775–79


Displaying a prodigious talent at an early age—he regularly skipped school to draw in the countryside—Thomas Gainsborough was sent off to London in 1740, at the age of 13, to study with the French engraver Hubert-François Gravelot. Around the same time, he entered the St. Martin’s Lane Academy, a school established by William Hogarth that served as a precursor to the Royal Academy. By 1745, while still a teenager, Gainsborough was working as an independent artist, settling first in his hometown of Sudbury, then in the larger city of Ipswich, and finally in the resort town of Bath, where he enjoyed a steady stream of wealthy clients.


For much of his career, Gainsborough’s reputation rested on his elegant portraits of wealthy aristocrats. By the 1770s, however, especially after his move to London in 1774, he became just as highly regarded for his landscapes. Wooded Landscape with House and Figure, a poetic reinterpretation of the English countryside (the buildings in the background may be wholly invented), dates from this period.


Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University




This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses are not permitted.


Black chalk and gray wash with watercolor and gouache; 8-1/2 x 11-9/16 in. (21.6 x 29.3 cm)