A Boy with a Cat—Morning

Thomas Gainsborough British

Not on view

Well-to-do art collectors of the eighteenth century enjoyed "fancy pictures" such as this, which provided an idealized and sentimental image of poor children. The model for this particular work, Jack Hill, was a local boy whom Gainsborough’s daughter considered adopting. Although the child’s vulnerable situation may prompt an emotional response, Gainsborough’s interest in this material appears to have been largely aesthetic. Sir Joshua Reynolds praised Gainsborough after his death for the "interesting simplicity and elegance of his little ordinary beggar-children."

A Boy with a Cat—Morning, Thomas Gainsborough (British, Sudbury 1727–1788 London), Oil on canvas

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