Cottage Children (The Wood Gatherers)

Thomas Gainsborough British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 628

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. A visitor to Gainsborough’s studio described the three children shown here as “charming little objects [who] cannot be viewed without the sensations of tenderness and pleasure, and an interest for their humble fate.” The model for the pensive boy seated with a bundle of kindling is believed to have been Jack Hill, a local boy whom Gainsborough’s daughter considered adopting.

Cottage Children (The Wood Gatherers), Thomas Gainsborough (British, Sudbury 1727–1788 London), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.