Thomas Gainsborough The Blue Boy (Jonathan Buttall)
Thomas Gainsborough was an English painter who painted mainly landscapes and portraits, though he preferred to paint landscapes. He lived from 1727 to 1788. Gainsborough is known for applying his paint very quickly. He didn't use any formal painting methods. Instead, he used his observations of nature to structure his work. When painting landscapes, Gainsborough used easy strokes to reflect the beauty of the land. When painting portraits, Gainsborough tried to capture the individuality of each subject. He also incorporated elements of his landscapes into his portraits whenever possible.
Perhaps the most famous portrait Gainsborough ever created was The Blue Boy painting. The Blue Boy painting is thought to depict Jonathan Buttall, a son of a hardware merchant. The blue boy Gainsborough created stands with one hand on his hip, outfitted with a 17th century blue garment from head to toe. In the background of the Blue Boy painting, you can see some of the landscaping that Gainsborough often added to his portraits. The original Gainsborough Blue Boy is on display at the Huntington Library in California.
The Gainsborough Blue Boy is not only a nod to Gainsborough's impeccable painting skills, but it is also an inspirational work that demonstrates the historical costume of the 17th century. The blue boy Gainsborough includes in the painting is outfitted in an elaborate historical outfit that accurately depicts the clothing style worn during the time period.
The Blue Boy Gainsborough painted has inspired other artists to create works as well. For example, the Blue Boy painting is credited with the inspiration of the film Knabe in Blau, created by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau in 1919. The Blue Boy painting also moved Robert Rauschenberg to begin creating art, and it continues to inspire artists today.
The original Blue Boy painting is not available for purchase as it is owned by a library. However, you can purchase the Blue Boy painting as a reproduction to add to your own collection of artwork. Reproductions of the Gainsborough Blue Boy are available from ArtsHeaven.com for a reasonable price.
The Gainsborough Blue Boy can make a wonderful addition to any art collection or space. It can complement the decor of rooms styled with hues of blue, or it can be placed as a showpiece in rooms with other complementary colors. This painting also makes an interesting conversation piece in any living room, foyer or other area of the home where guests are entertained.
To learn more about Gainsborough, his life, his other artwork and his famous Blue Boy, consult the following links.
- Biography of Thomas Gainsborough
- Example of the Blue Boy's Inspiration
- Examples of Gainsborough's Work
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