Monday, August 12, 2013

A huge oversight on my part

Once upon a time in the seventeenth century, in the country called England, there lived a painter. He looked like this:

He painted that portrait himself. It is, as it were, a self-portrait.
I really grow weary of having to explain everything to you.

What this particular painter longed to do was paint landscapes, but people kept asking him to paint their portraits. One time he painted a portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews. They looked like this:

Another time he painted a portrait of Mr. and Mrs. William Hallett. They looked like this:

As I said earlier, what he really wanted to do was paint landscapes, and you may have noticed that he managed to work landscapes into some of his portraits. But people kept paying him to paint their portraits.

Here is Mrs. Thomas Hibbert:

...and here is Miss Read (later Mrs. William Vilebois):

...and here is Lady Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire:

...and here is John Needham, the tenth Viscount Kilmorey:

Are you bored yet?

Portraits can be so tiresome, but there is a reason I am devoting an entire post to this artist’s work, and that reason is that I committed a huge oversight. I omitted from a recent post of mine the painting for which this particular artist is most famous, and it deserved to be included.

The painter’s name was Thomas Gainsborough. He was fond of using blues when he painted, but in one portrait he completely outdid himself.

Here is Gainsborough’s best-known work, The Blue Boy:

The identity of the blue boy is unknown. It is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall (1752 – 1805), the son of a wealthy hardware merchant, although this has never been proven.

A thousand pardons, sir, for my negligence. You deserved better from me. I hope this post in some small way makes up for my having omitted your masterpiece.

Dear reader, if you do not care for Gainsborough, there’s always Picasso's Blue Period.


  1. As a direct descendant of Gainsborough, I accept your humble apologies. I shall also be happy to receive the appropriate royalties cheque (American - check) as Great great great great Uncle Thomas's paintings may not be used without the express permission of his direct descendants (ie - me!). Three hundred bucks should cover it.

  2. So glad you corrected that oversight RWP. I love art! I feel sorry for him not being able to paint landscapes. The old supply and demand thing happening ~ or just a man has to eat.

    After writing my "blue piece" last week I remembered the Australian blue opal. And then when writing my yellow post, cobalt blue popped up. I sense that blue will be a recurring theme much like your separated at birth. But can I just say again ~ Yorky started this insanity (not me)

  3. Yorkshire Pudding, after you have forwarded to me facsimile copies of your genealogical papers connecting you to Thomas Gainsborough and I have had time to have them thoroughly checked and authenticated by experts on this side of the pond, the check will be in the mail.

    By the way, a great-great-great-great-nephew is not a direct descendant on any continent. If you could prove it, you both might be direct descendants of his parents, however.

  4. He did manage to paint some landscapes. A very nice one is at a gallery in Ipswich, England. It is called Holywells Park and here is a link to look at it His sky in the painting has a nice bluish-grey color.

  5. Vagabonde, thank you for sharing that link. It is a beautiful painting.

  6. Bob, do not fall for the scoundrel's ploys!

    You may recall some time ago a banter between YP and myself as to who had the most deep-rooted Yorkshire roots. He observed that he had 'Yorkshire' written all the way through him as thoroughly as a stick of Bridlington rock, to which I retorted that Bridlington rock had 'Bridlington' written through its core? Thomas Gainsborough was from Suffolk - if indeed our good Lord is related to him then we may have uncovered a flaw in his Tykish ancestory...

    the public needs to be warned! x

  7. Drat! You appear to have seen through my clever ploy to drain your bank account! (Note to self: Must try harder!)

  8. I'm enjoying these colourful posts ... and the little bits of knowledge they impart.

  9. Vagabonde (of Paris, France and Marietta, Georgia), I thank you along with Carol in Cairns (I think that's in Far North Queensland, for the link to Gainsborough's beautiful landscape, Holywells Park. The name of the painting made me smile because we have a town nearby called Holly Springs, and my Brazilian friend Roberto calls it Holy Springs.

    A Lady's Life in British Columbia, indeed he was.

    Elizabeth, Yorkshirite Extraordinaire, I appreciate the warning.

    Yorkshire Pudding, a Bridlington Rock if I ever saw one, you can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

    Helsie in Brisbane, I feel damned with faint praise! "Little bits of knowledge" does not sound to me like a compliment...but perhaps I have misread you.

  10. I am sorry some people either find portraiture o boring or that they try to pass them off as ancestors. I love portraiture because though I have always been considered "artistic", I JUST COULD NOT DO PORTRAITS... (that was just jealousy speaking...)