Country track with houses

Country track with houses



Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)
A Country Track with Houses

Signed with gold monogram lower right
Watercolour and black chalk over pencil on laid paper
23.2 by 29.9 cm., 9 by 11 3/4 in.

With Anthony Mould, London;
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, 14th November 1996, lot 65

Hugh Belsey, `A Second Supplement to John Hayes's The Drawings of Thomas Drawings', Master Drawings, no. 46, 2008, p.488, no.1043

This drawing dates to circa 1763. The gold monogram indicates that this is one of Gainsborough' presentation drawings which he would have given to a friend. Generally Gainsborough's drawings were done for his own interest and not for sale. They are also rarely preparatory to finished oils.
The distinctive buildings in the background are unusual in Gainsborough's drawings. The large house is similar to a building in the background of a drawing now known only from a print by John Laporte. It is possible that the now unknown recipient of the drawing may have had a say in the subject.

We are grateful to Hugh Belsey for his comments on this drawing.