This wooded landscape, including two figures and a dog, is painted on slate. A label on the back of the work states that it was given to the Reverend John Wright by painter Thomas Gainsborough, in gratitude for kindness shown to the painter when he was ill.
Julius Caesar Ibbetson was a landscape painter in oil and watercolour, and also an illustrator and etcher. He was born in Leeds and was mostly self-trained by copying Old Masters for dealers and painting pastiches of Dutch landscapes. He also worked as a scene painter. Usually on a small scale, some of his landscapes have been compared to early Gainsborough works. While based in London from about 1784 to 1798, he accompanied distinguished patrons on UK visits and tours, including trips to Wales and the Isle of Wight. From 1799 he worked chiefly in the Lake District, before moving to Masham, North Yorkshire, in 1805, where he became the protégé of local landowner William Danby. Ibbetson published ‘Painting in Oil’ in 1803. He died aged 57.
[Label on verso:] Morning by / Thomas Gainsborough; [second label on verso, below:] Painting on slate by Ths. Gainsborough / Landscape view near Thetford Suffolk painted / by Thos. Gainsborough and presented by him / to the Rev.d John Wright to whose wife / he was indebted for much attention while he, / T. G. was lying ill with fever at Sudbury in / 1748. The letter accompanying this picture was unfortunately burnt by accident scarcely 3 / years ago i.e. later end of 1876 at Eastcliff / in Sheffield. February 2.nd 1879
Collection of Thomas Gainsborough; by whom presented to the Reverend John Wright; 'The Property of an Institution'; by whom sold through Christie's, London, 27 June 1980 (Lot 79), as 'A Wooded Landscape with Figures and a Dog on a path by a pondm Near Thetford, Suffolk'; from which sale purchased by Leggatt Brothers on behalf of the Government Picture Collection
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