Thomas Gainsborough
Lady Bate-Dudley c.1787

Artwork details

Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
Lady Bate-Dudley
Date c.1787
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2210 x 1450 mm
Lent by the Trustees of the Bate-Dudleys 1989
On long term loan
Not on display

Display caption

The elegant woman here is Lady Mary Bate-Dudley. She was married to Gainsborough’s friend and champion, Henry Bate-Dudley. She’s shown here in a romantic woodland setting, leaning on a classical pedestal and an urn. Her pose is languid yet statuesque and the gesture of her left hand suggests a refined sensibility. Unusually in Gainsborough’s art, Lady Bate-Dudley’s head is shown in profile. This is a dramatic ploy that elevates the painting beyond the everyday world of conventional portraiture to the realm of High Art.

May 2007

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