Thomas Gainsborough (British, Sudbury 1727–1788 London)
Republished by John & Josiah Boydell (British, 1786–1804)
August 1, 1797
Aquatint (sugar-lift process), printed in brown ink
plate: 10 7/8 x 13 11/16 in. (27.6 x 34.7 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949
Not on view
Most famous for his dashing portraits of eighteenth-century society figures, Gainsborough was also a highly skilled printmaker who in his late career experimented with the "sugar-lift" aquatint medium—named after a sugar and ink solution used to draw on the plate that later dissolves when immersed in water. The subject of grazing cows in a sun-struck sylvan setting recalls seventeenth-century Dutch pastorals.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Signature: Designed and Engraved by Thos. Gainsborough
Inscription: Pub. as the Act directs Aug.1.1797, by J.&J. Boydell No.90 Cheapside, & the Shakspeare Gallery, Pall Mall
Princes of Liechtenstein, Vaduz and Vienna; Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 28, 2003–July 27, 2003.
Hayes 20; Woodall 2
Mary Woodall Gainsborough's Landscape Drawings. London, 1939, cat. no. 2.
John T. Hayes Gainsborough as Printmaker. 1971, Republished by J. & J. Boydell, 1 August 1797 (no. 11 in a series of 12), with letters on a separate plate below., cat. no. 20, pp. 24-7, 103, ill.