THOMAS GAINSBOUROUGH,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale The Harvest Wagon by THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH {English School}

The Harvest Wagon by THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH {English School}

THE HARVEST WAGONThe Harvest Wagon

by THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH {English School}

 

THE landscape painters of Great Britain were impelled by the same forces
that summoned the lyrics of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats.

Their
devotion to nature was intense and unaffected, a communion with things they
knew best, the glorious rural world of their birthright; there had been land­
scape artists before the British, but they had seen nature from afar, like Poussin
and Claude, or they had painted indoors after the Dutch fashion.

 

 

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It was the
English who took painting into the open air, under God’s-and Ruskin’s­
great blue sky. In peace and freedom, they explored the soul of nature, reveal­
ing her secrets and mysteries, her infinite variety and her blessings.

Gainsborough’s landscapes are among the most affecting thmgs in British
painting. Nature was his first and greatest love, and though his wayward soul
was sidetracked into the fashionable art of portraiture, he remained faithful
to his first mistress, and continued to sketch from memory the ineffaceable
scenes of his early years in Suffolk.

As a youth, like the yOlmg Shakespeare,
he roved the fields and woods, observing for the first time in British painting,
not groups of trees and undefined shapes, but individual forms, with all the
minutiae of foliage and bladed grass.

In after years, with more knowledge
and under the spell of Rubens, he painted in more generalized masses, chang­
ing nature to olive greens, browns, and silver grays, to enforce a tone of
melancholy.

The Harvest Wagon was painted in a mood of romantic loneliness. It is
one of his masterpieces, but unfortunately the glowing browns and greens,
the reflected lights, and the color of the sky have darkened in value. In its
theme-the return from toil-it is similar to many of his landscapes; and
in a remotely symbolical way, it expresses his yearnmgs to resume the
country life he loved.

With him, it was always the pathos of the lonely soul
returning home to the consoling tranquillity of the trees and fields at the
end of day. Gainsborough’s landscapes touch the emotions with the voice
of a stringed instrument; the key is low and the volume slender, but the
tone is perfect.

His world, compared with that of Rubens, his master, is only
a corner of nature, but more lyrical and delicate. It is nature reshaped, with
the colors modified, the trees and earth conjoined, a mood restrained and
gentle, a melody that soothes the spirit.

 

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