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vigorous brushwork. Some of the accessories are painted in Vandyke brown, the only colour besides being a few touches of carmine in the cheeks and on the lips, but the small amount of actual performance compared with the immense effect of beauty is amazing, and, to the artist, makes this unfinished picture one of Gainsborough's most interesting works. It is seven feet ten inches long, by four feet eleven inches wide. In the portrait of Mrs. Graham at Edinburgh the dress has been more elaborately painted than is usually the case in most of Gainsborough's portraits of women. The upper portion is creamy white, contrasting very happily with the pale mulberry skirt, and this again stands out in contrast with a group of massive foliage against a somewhat lurid sky. Gainsborough, after painting Mrs. Graham, seems to have been ever haunted by her beautiful, sad, young face, for in addition to her many portraits he introduced her in the guise of a peasant into several of his landscapes.
Another strikingly fine portrait is the one known as The Blue Boy, at Grosvenor House, which has all the glamour and charm of a portrait of a fairy prince. But the original was young Jonathan Buttall, the son of a reputed immensely rich ironmonger in Greek Street, Soho. After his father's death young Buttall continued the business; but in 1796 his pictures, of which he seems to have had a great number, were sold, and no more was ever heard of him. However, he has been immortalized by this painting, which in some respects is the finest portrait ever painted by an Englishman. It dates probably to the year 1779, and traditionally is said to have been painted by Gainsborough to confute the dictum given by Sir Joshua Reynolds in his eighth "Discourse," in which the President said: "Although it is not my business to enter into the detail of our art, yet I must take this opportunity of mentioning one of the means of producing that great effect which we observe in the works of the Venetian painters, as I think it is not generally known or observed. It ought, in my opinion, to be indispensably observed, that the masses of light in a picture be always of a warm, mellow colour, yellow, red, or a yellowish white, and that the blue, the grey, or the green colours be kept almost entirely out of these masses, and be used only to support or set off these warm colours; and for this purpose, a small proportion of cold colour will be sufficient. Let this conduct be reversed; let the light be cold, and the surrounding colour warm, as we often see in the works of the Roman and Florentine painters, and it will be out of the power of art, even in the hands of Rubens and Titian, to make a picture splendid and harmonious."
In the portrait of young Buttall, and also in that of Mrs. Siddons in the National Gallery, it will be seen that Gainsborough has absolutely traversed this opinion, and has created two consummate works of art in which blue is the predominant colour, in which the light was cold and "the surrounding colour warm." In the case of The Bitte Boy the artist introduced into the background of the picture a mass of deep rich brown which harmonizes admirably with the blue of the costume. But in both pictures the blue has many tones, varying from the deepest hue of lapis lazuli to the palest turquoise.
Although there can be little doubt that The Blue Boy at Grosvenor House is the original, replicas of it exist. It is supposed at one time to have been in the possession of Hoppner in trust on behalf of the Prince of Wales, to whom it may have belonged, for there is a letter extant, written by Hoppner's son, in which he says he remem
bered seeing the picture at their house in Charles Street, St. James's, and that it then belonged to the Prince. The picture was bought early in the last century by the then Earl Grosvenor.
Gainsborough also painted a Pink Boy, the portrait of a younger-looking boy than Jonathan Buttall, called Nicholls, who was a grandson of the famous Dr. Mead. Formerly it was at Waddesdon, but is now the property of the Baroness de Rothschild, and is in Paris.
The Blue Boy hangs almost opposite to Sir Joshua Reynolds's portrait of Mrs. Siddons as The Tragic Muse, at Grosvenor House. There are no finer examples of the genius of our two greatest portrait painters which were so essentially different; and the supreme qualities of each are the more easily discernible because of this juxtaposition.
Sir Joshua Reynolds is supposed to have called upon Gainsborough soon after he settled at Schomberg House, but the President's visit was not returned, and these two great artists remained comparative strangers until near the end of Gainsborough's life. There was some talk of Gainsborough's painting the President's portrait, but although Reynolds sat once, the sitting was not repeated, owing to Sir Joshua being seized with a slight paralytic attack which sent him to Bath for the cure. On his return to London he sent word to Gainsborough announcing his convalescence, with a view to resuming the sittings; the latter merely returned an answer saying he was glad to hear that the President's health was restored, but he made no allusion to the portrait. And it was not until the fatal month of July, 1788, that the two artists met again —and for the last time.
Four years passed after Gainsborough had settled at