Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1740–1812, French, active in Britain (from 1771), Figures by a stream with cattle watering, undated
Figures by a stream with cattle watering
- Pen and black ink, graphite, and gray wash on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper
- Sheet: 14 × 20 inches (35.6 × 50.8 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
- Copyright Status:
- Public Domain
- Accession Number:
- Drawings & Watercolors
- Prints and Drawings
- Subject Terms:
- animal art | cattle | genre subject | landscape | peasants | stream
- Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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The Alsatian artist Phillppe Jacques de Loutherbourg arrived in London in 1771, having already established himself in Paris as a successful painter of pastoral landscapes and dramatic shipwreck scenes. with an introduction to the actor-manager David Garrick, Loutherbourg gained employment designing scenery for productions at the Drury Lane Theatre. He also explored the beauties of the English and Welsh countryside, making pioneering use of the actual scenery of Britain in his theatrical work, in paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy, and in publications. This Pastoral landscape, which may well predate Loutherbourg's move to England, is a decorative artificial construct rather than a transcript of nature. In that sense it is not far removed from the synthetic approach to landscape advocated by Alexander Cozens, and its components - the watering cattle in a shaded pool, the sleeping herd boy, the tête-à-tête of hunter and milkmaid - are very much the standard elements of Thomas Gainsborough's landscape creations, though rendered with a delicacy and fastidiousness of touch in place of Gainsborough's bravura draftsmanship. Loutherbourg and Gainsborough were in fact friends, and a portrait sketch of Gainsborough by Loutherbourg is in the Yale Center for British Art.
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