Thomas Gainsborough

An Old Horse

c.1755

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 552 x 648 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the family of Richard J. Lane 1896
Reference
N01484

Display caption

This lively and loosely sketched picture of an old horse dates most likely from the mid 1750s, relatively early in Gainsborough's career when he was still living in his native Suffolk.
Once in the possession of Gainsborough's family, the picture was described in 1896 as 'an aged cart-horse, much emaciated and just taken from work'. Sketched from life, it demonstrates Gainsborough's enjoyment in copying directly from nature, which he did throughout his life either for sheer pleasure or as preparatory study for elements in his finished oils.

Gallery label, November 1996

Tate Paper

Paintings on Canvas: Lining and Alternatives

This paper catalogues major changes in attitude during the last thirty years to conservation practice for the treatment of degraded ...

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