Wooded Landscape with Herdsmen and Cows

Artist: Thomas Gainsborough (British, Sudbury 1727–1788 London)

Publisher: Republished by John & Josiah Boydell (British, 1786–1804)

Date: August 1, 1797

Medium: Aquatint (sugar-lift process), printed in brown ink

Dimensions: plate: 10 7/8 x 13 11/16 in. (27.6 x 34.7 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949

Accession Number: 49.95.59


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.