External: Gainsborough to Turner: The Golden Age of English Painting
- Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 2210 × 1450 mm
frame: 2610 × 1845 × 155 mm
- Lent from a private collection 1989
On long term loan
Mary Bate-Dudley 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 intended to elevate the painting beyond the everyday world of conventional portraiture to the realm of High Art.
Gallery label, February 2016
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