Thomas Gainsborough (British, 17271788)
Aquatint, printed in brown ink; Plate: 11 1/16 x 13 3/4 in. (28.1 x 34.9 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949 (49.95.59)
Most famous for his dashing portraits of eighteenth-century worthies, Gainsborough was also a highly skilled printmaker who in his late career experimented with the "sugar-lift" aquatint medium (named after the sugar and Indian ink solution used to draw on the plate). The subject of grazing cows in a sun-struck sylvan setting was most likely influenced by seventeenth-century Dutch pastorals.