HumanitiesWeb.org - "The Woodsman" by Thomas Gainsborough [Selected Works]
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The Woodsman

1787-88: Private collection, London

More than seven and a half feet high and about five feet wide, Gainsborough's last great "fancy picture" serves as a landmark in the work of a master. The Woodsman is a poetic portrait of a country man caught beneath a darkening, thunderous sky and turning his eyes heavenward. Filled with emotion - even the dog is animated with fear - the picture powerfully conveys the communion between man and nature.The image must have had special poignancy for the artist, it was the one that he particularly wished Joshua Reynolds to see when he invited him to pay a call in July 1788. The Woodsman was Gainsborough's last testament.
 
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