School of Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727-1788)
View Near Sudbury
Unsigned, titled on a presentation plaque.
Oil on canvas, 15 1/2 x 19 1/4 in. (39.4 x 48.9 cm), framed.
Condition: Lined, retouch, craquelure, surface grime.
Provenance: The estate of Barbara Green, by descent through the family of William Morris Green.
N.B. Thomas Gainsborough spent his youth in Sudbury, Suffolk, in southeastern England, where his father was a cloth merchant. His early landscapes, done roughly between 1748 and 1752, depict the chalky cliffs, cloud filled skies, gnarled trees, and rutted cart tracks that characterized the Sudbury/Ipswich area. This painting shares many of those elements, but was probably painted by a contemporary of Gainsborough who pulled together vignettes from other Gainsborough works. Even in his own time, Gainsborough had many imitators. In his book, The Landscape Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough: A Critical Text and Catalogue Raisonné (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982), John T. Hayes illustrated several early landscapes that relate to the painting at hand. Specific elements found in this work include the seated figure (Hayes, cat. 29), the track (Hayes, cat. 35) and the standing figure (Hayes, cat. 47). Although clearly talented and skillful, the painter of this view of Sudbury does not seem to have had the painterly touch of Gainsborough, himself.
We wish to thank Malcolm Cormack, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Paul Mellon Curator Emeritus, for his help with this entry.
Older scattered retouch to the sky area, primarily to the u.c. spanning an area approx. 4 x 3 in., varnish inconsistencies.