Thomas Gainsborough, Wooded upland landscape with shepherd an sheep, mid 1780s. Art Gallery of South Australia.


Gainsborough as a landscape draughtsman

  • Wednesday 6 March 2019
    (6 pm)
  • The Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT
  • Lecturer: Hugh Belsey

Gainsborough was amongst the most consummate draughtsman of the eighteenth century. He sketched as a summation of seeing and he drew finished compositions to present to friends, sometimes making pastel portraits as gifts to curry favour with sitters. He continually experimented with graphic techniques blurring the boundaries between prints, drawings and paintings. Few artists have used their drawings in such an innovative and experimental way.

This lecture is in memory of Anne Scott, a former Chairman and long-term Committee member who contributed greatly to the Society over many years.  The retiring collection at her funeral was very kindly donated to the Society and has been used to fund this lecture.


Hugh Belsey’s catalogue of portraits by Thomas Gainsborough will be published in February 2019. He has studied the artist’s work since he was appointed Curator of the artist’s birthplace museum in Sudbury in 1981. He has worked as a freelance art historian since 2014.

Places available