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Description: This large beautiful executed original antique soft ground etched print with hand tint colour, of a English country scene after Thomas Gainsborough, was engraved by William Frederick Wells and published in A Collection of Prints Illustrative of English Scenery From the Drawings and Sketches of Thos. Gainsborough, R.A. in the various collections of The Baroness Lucas; Viscount Palmerston; George Herbert, Esq.; Dr. Monro by John and Josiah Boydell, London in 1819.
The English painter Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) ranks as one of the principal masters and innovators of the English school of landscape painting. Thomas Gainsborough was baptized in Sudbury, Suffolk, on May 14, 1727. His father, a substantial cloth merchant, recognized Thomas's precocious artistic gifts and sent him at an early age, possibly 12, to London. Gainsborough was connected with the artists Francis Hayman and Hubert François Gravelot, possibly as apprentice to the former and assistant to the latter. Gainsborough is reported to have copied and restored Dutch landscapes for dealers. At the age of 19 he married Margaret Burr, reputedly a natural daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, who is said to have brought him an income of £200 a year.
At the age of 21 Gainsborough was so much admired as a landscape painter that he was invited with the leading artists of the day to present a picture to the Foundling Hospital in London. His painting, The Charterhouse, shows a mature observation of reality and handling of light. From Hayman the scene painter and Gravelot the rococo decorator Gainsborough learned to approach pictorial composition on inventive principles, and the alternation between observation and invention henceforth became the basis of his artistic growth. The two approaches may be illustrated by comparing Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrews (ca. 1749), with a deliciously observed Suffolk landscape dappled by sunlight and shadow of cloud, and Henéage Lloyd and His Sister (ca. 1750), shown against a limpid background of stage scenery.
Gainsborough's art after his early London studies falls into three main divisions: the Suffolk period, 1748-1759; the Bath period, 1759-1774; and the years of fame in London, 1774-1788. In Suffolk he combined the charms of the modern conversation piece with those of realistic landscape, thus making a strong appeal to the country gentry. Here too he painted the Suffolk countryside as faithfully and freshly as if he were a Dutch painter reborn in the 18th century.
William Frederick Wells (1762 - 10 Nov 1836) was an English watercolour landscape painter and etcher. Wells was born in London in 1762. Wells studied art in London under John James Barralet (1747–1815). On 20 November 1804, Wells initiated the founding of the Society of Painters in Watercolours (now the Royal Watercolour Society), at a meeting held at the Stratford Coffee House, Oxford St, London. He served as President of the fledgling association from 1806 to 1807.
He travelled and painted extensively in England and Europe, particularly in Norway and Sweden. Wells' art was annually exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1795 to 1813. He held the post of Professor of Drawing at Addiscombe Military Seminary for officers of the East India Company Army over twenty years from 1813 until his retirement, immediately before his death, in November 1836. Wells was an intimate friend of Joseph Mallord William Turner. Among his works as an etcher are two fine sets in soft ground; Thomas Gainsborough's English Scenery (1819) and Select Views in Cumberland (1810).
General Description: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - off white Age of map color: - Original Colors used: - Blue, orange, green, brown General color appearance: - Authentic Paper size: - 17 1/4in x 11 1/2in (440mm x 290mm) Plate size: - 12 1/2in x 9 1/2in (315mm x 245mm) Margins: - Min 2in (50mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - None Plate area: - None Verso: - None