Museums and Art

“Cornard Forest”, Thomas Gainsborough - description of the painting

“Cornard Forest”, Thomas Gainsborough - description of the painting

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Cornard Forest - Thomas Gainsborough. 122x155 cm

The presented landscape, executed in laconic brown-green tones with a violation of physical logic and real terrain, is the Gainsborough Forest or the Kornard Forest. The official date of writing the picture is considered to be 1748. But some biographers are inclined to believe that Thomas Gainsborough began this work in his childhood, and in 1748 he rewrote it again.

The painter comes to his hometown of Sudbury for the sad reason - at his father’s funeral. Having plunged into memories, he creates a famous landscape in his workshop. Moreover, this is not some specific place in or near the city, but a collective image. In physical terms, one can easily find many inaccuracies here. In particular, the reservoir on the canvas is depicted above the road, which was supposed to lead to flooding of the latter. But Gainsborough did not pay attention to such trifles - the plot was created in his head. Sometimes the master brought branches to the workshop, and it happened that even animals were brought to him.

The artistic manner in which the landscape is executed directly indicates to the viewer the influence of Anthony van Dyck - a representative of the naturalistic school of painting. And this is true, for a long period Gainsborough was fond of the work of the Dutchman. The whole picture is very dynamic and mobile: clouds, sunlight, heroes - nothing stands still.

In the distance you can see a knight on a horse, a traveler with a dog is walking slowly towards us, and a young man is digging sand and a girl is approaching him, who probably decided to visit him. At the very bottom, another person ties a pile of brushwood. The fairly crowded picture at the first perception does not seem to be such - the figures of the heroes are lost against the backdrop of a mighty forest under heavy gray-lead clouds. The trees on the canvas are very tall, disproportionately majestic with the figures of people. But the author clearly liked this hyperbole. Its landscapes cannot be categorically categorized as realism; rather, it is a romantic landscape.