Thomas Gainsborough
British, 1727 ‑ 1788
Wooded River Landscape with Peasants Resting and Church Tower, about 1750
Oil on canvas
9 3/8 × 12 1/2 × 3/4 in. (23.8 × 31.8 × 1.9 cm.)
Gift of the Charter Collectors  2005.19.1

Inspired by “Little Dutch Landskips”
Gainsborough learned landscape painting by studying Dutch masters of the 1600s. This little painting, with its low horizon line, expansive sky, and carefully-observed atmospheric effects-notice the sunlight breaking through the trees!- reveal his familiarity with Dutch landscape painting techniques. Gainsborough built his career as a painter of portraits out of economic necessity, but he also copied and restored Dutch landscapes for London art dealers. At the very end of his life, Gainsborough wrote of his fondness for his “first imatations of little Dutch landskips.”