Gainsborough received very few commissions for landscape paintings; all those he exhibited were speculative works. The quiet solitude of this painting, with a drover leading a herd of cattle to water, is typical of Gainsborough's later landscapes. His own association of landscape painting with pastoral ease and tranquillity seemed to increase in his final years; he claimed: 'I'm sick of portraits and wish very much to take my Viol da Gamba [cello] and walk off to some sweet Village where I can paint landskips and enjoy the fag end of life in quietness and ease'.
Gallery label, September 2004
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.