Thomas Gainsborough

The Bridge

c.1786

Artist
Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 400 x 483 mm
frame: 622 x 705 x 95 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Martin H. Colnaghi 1908
Reference
N02284

Not on display

Display caption

Gainsborough never travelled to Italy, although he studied the work of old master painters such as Claude, Rubens and others. He continually fused references to the work of these earlier landscape artists with his own ideas and observations on nature, creating a highly individual vision of a British rural idyll.

This sombre scene may be a view in the Lake District, which Gainsborough had visited in 1783. However, his later landscapes were far from conventional representations of particular places. They became increasingly poetic in mood, often with a dramatic quality that anticipated the later landscapes of Constable and Turner.

Gallery label, September 2004

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