Room 34

Great Britain 1750-1850

By the second half of the 18th century, British society portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds were painted on a grand scale in the European manner. George Stubbs’s equivalent representations of heroic racehorses were, however, uniquely British. Other family and group portraits by William Hogarth and Joseph Wright of Derby reflect more traditional preoccupations with mortality.

British painters also developed highly innovative approaches to landscape painting, while always keeping note of a wider European tradition. Gainsborough looked back to Rubens, while Turner drew on his knowledge of Dutch marine painting and of the French painter Claude. Yet both went on to develop free and personal styles of painting, in which the depiction of light was paramount.

Constable’s novel approach to landscape was received with more
enthusiasm in France than in England. His large-scale paintings of rural
scenes, based on oil sketches, elevated the recording of the immediacy of effects of light and weather to a new plane.

Paintings in this room

Dr Ralph Schomberg
Dr Ralph Schomberg
Thomas Gainsborough
Mrs Siddons
Mrs Siddons
Thomas Gainsborough
The Market Cart
The Market Cart
Thomas Gainsborough
The Watering Place
The Watering Place
Thomas Gainsborough
The Graham Children
The Graham Children
William Hogarth
Whistlejacket
Whistlejacket
George Stubbs
Calais Pier
Calais Pier
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Evening Star
The Evening Star
Joseph Mallord William Turner
 
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