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Other Discoveries

The connection to Cornard Wood is not the only link between these newly discovered drawings and Gainsborough’s landscape paintings of the late 1740s and early 1750s. Further research has found that another one of the sheets is a preparatory study for a small landscape in the Norwich Castle Museum, a painting that Gainsborough made in about 1746-7. The drawing and the painting are almost the same size, allowing him easily to transfer the different elements from paper onto his canvas.

Drag the slider to compare the drawing with the painting

Another drawing was probably made in preparation for Gainsborough’s Portrait of a Woman, Possibly of the Lloyd Family, painted in about 1750 and now in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. This drawing shows a landscape with three distinctive twisted tree trunks next to a pond, and burdock plants in the foreground, elements that are also found in the painting. On the back of the sheet is a study of a young woman, whose ringlets and cap can be seen in the finished portrait.

Compare the two sides of the drawing with the painting here

When conservators removed the sheets from the album in 2021, three other drawings were found to have studies on both sides of the paper.

Examine the drawings they found on both sides