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This is one of Gainsborough's first landscapes, painted during his apprentice years in London when he was about twenty years old. The influence of Dutch seventeenth-century landscape painters is apparent in the detailed naturalistic treatment of the foliage and the ordered composition. The view is not strictly topographical but rather a poetic interpretation of his native Suffolk scenery, bathed in a pink light.

Although portraiture later became the main source of Gainsborough's fame and income, he was also one of the earliest British painters to produce important landscapes, admired for their freshness and fluency of handling.

September 2004