barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)

The Harvest Wagon

Bath, exhibited 1767
Oil on canvas

120.5 x 144.7 cm


A group of rustic figures travel in a harvest wagon at the end of the working day.

The figures are unusually prominent for Gainsborough’s landscapes and are the result of careful study. Two of the women are based on the artist’s daughters whilst the landscape is inspired by the beautiful countryside around Bath where Gainsborough lived.

Unlike his commissioned portraits, Gainsborough painted such landscapes for his own pleasure or as a speculation. This picture was given to his patron and friend Walter Wiltshire when the artist moved to London in 1774, as thanks for the presentation of the grey horse shown here.


Purchased 1946 (No.46.8)

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