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The landscapes and legacy of Gainsborough

For the first time in their history, two great masterpieces by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) painted in 1755 are presented in his birthplace in Suffolk, from March 11 to June 11, 2023, in partnership with the Woburn Abbey.

The exhibition displays not only works by Gainsborough and those who inspired him, but also works by Frederick Richard Lee (1798-1879), Sir Augustus Wall Callcott (1779-1844), and Richard Parkes Bonington (1802- 1828) who were influenced by the master.

Thomas Gainsborough. Paysage de sous-bois. 1755. Woburn Abbey.
Thomas Gainsborough. Paysage de sous-bois. 1755. Woburn Abbey.

Home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford, Woburn Abbey and Gardens are currently closed to facilitate a major renovation programme. These restoration works have allowed some of the treasures kept on its site to travel. Drawn from this rich collection and curated by the abbey's curators, the exhibition highlights the great passion for landscape painting characteristic of English nature.

According to Matthew Hirst, curator of Woburn Abbey:

"The exploration of these subjects and the bringing together of these masterpieces is made possible by the temporary closure of Woburn Abbey which will allow the regeneration of its infrastructure and the redeployment of its collections".

Marie Bashkirtseff. Dans la brume. 1882. Österreichische Galerie Belvedere
Sir Edwin Landseer’s Cerf à Coldbath Fields 1835. Woburn Abbey

The exhibition found an ideal location: the recently refurbished Gainsborough House, run by Mark Bills, which has become a national center for the study of the life and work of Thomas Gainsborough, particularly his landscapes.

Aelbert Cuyp. Paysage avec artiste dessinant. Vers 1652. Woburn Abbey
Aelbert Cuyp. Paysage avec artiste dessinant. Vers 1652. Woburn Abbey

The exhibition also features works by Aelbert Cuyp (1620-91) and Paulus Potter (1625-54) as well as a landscape by the French artist Claude Lorrain (1600-82), whose paintings later inspired the landscapes of Gainsborough.

Marie Bracquemond. Le fils et la sœur de l'artiste au jardin à Sèvres. 1890. Collection particulière
Reçu du Duc de Bedford en règlement de tableaux de Thomas Gainsborough

46 Gainsborough Street

Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2EU


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