Artwork of the Week: May 10

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Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727–1788), Hester, Countess of Sussex, and Her Daughter, Lady Barbara Yelverton, oil on canvas, 1771. Gallery 28A

Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727–1788), Hester, Countess of Sussex, and Her Daughter, Lady Barbara Yelverton, oil on canvas, 1771. Gallery 28A

Happy Mother’s Day! A rare double portrait by Gainsborough, Hester, Countess of Sussex, and Her Daughter was painted in the fashionable, western England town of Bath. Here, we see the wife and daughter of Henry Yelverton, who became Earl of Sussex in 1758, placed by a tree. This portrait would have been painted when Barbara, Hester’s only child, was ten or eleven years old. Gainsborough emphasized the mother and daughter relationship with the physical closeness of the pair and the matching details of their clothing.


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