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

John Constable: 'Stratford Mill'
Stratford Mill
John Constable
John Constable: 'The Cornfield'
The Cornfield
John Constable
John Constable: 'The Hay Wain'
The Hay Wain
John Constable
Thomas Gainsborough: 'Dr Ralph Schomberg'
Dr Ralph Schomberg
Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough: 'Mrs Siddons'
Mrs Siddons
Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough: 'The Market Cart'
The Market Cart
Thomas Gainsborough
The Watering Place
Thomas Gainsborough
Sir Henry Raeburn: ''The Archers''
'The Archers'
Sir Henry Raeburn
George Stubbs
Joseph Mallord William Turner: 'Calais Pier'
Calais Pier
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Fighting Temeraire
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner: 'The Parting of Hero and Leander'
The Parting of Hero and Leander
Joseph Mallord William Turner