attributed to Gainsborough Dupont

Cottage Children

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 457 x 356 mm
frame: 630 x 544 x 84 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Robert Vernon 1847
Reference
N00311

Display caption

This is a smaller version of a painting which Thomas Gainsborough created in 1787, towards the end of his life. This version is attributed to Gainsborough’s nephew and studio assistant Gainsborough Dupont.

Subjects like this were meant to inspire compassion among people of Sensibility, who may in truth have been far removed from the realities of rural poverty. In fact, the original painting belonged to a nobleman, Lord Porchester.

Are such sentimental images of poverty exploitative, or do they present a noble, and sometimes even challenging, vision of the countryside?

Gallery label, September 2004

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