Art is divine

British tales and romances

Micha Christos

Luxembourg Museum

The Golden Age of English Painting



September 11, 2019 - February 16, 2020

Thomas Gainsborough

Gainsborough Dupont around 1770-1775 oil on canvas 45.5 × 37.5 cm

Bequeathed by Lady d’Abernon in 1954

United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019

George Stubbs A gray hunter with a groom and a greyhound at Creswell Crags circa 1762-1764

oil on canvas 44.5 × 67.9 cm Purchased 1895 United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019

Joshua Reynolds

Colonel Acland and Lord Sydney: Archers 1769

Oil painting on canvas unconfirmed: 236 × 180 cm

United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019



 At the beginning of George III’s reign, the 1760’s marked a turning point for British art. In this eighteenth century, Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) and Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), compete for talent.


The exhibition, The Golden Age of English Painting, opens with the confrontation of the two painters through portraits in full foot and intimate studies in the striking resemblance of notables, members of the royal family or personalities. Reynolds’ intellectual ambitions and historical references contrast with the immediacy and pictorial ease of Gainsborough.


These two great masters of portraiture, Reynolds and Gainsborough, have elevated the genre by their psychological insight and their mastery of painting. They never ceased to reinvent, to innovate with approaches of an unprecedented intellectual depth.


The lights of Gainsborough and the precision of detail of Reynolds honor their masters by opening the doors to the imagination by a cleverly magnified reality.

Their art redefined the concept of British painting, preceding and inspiring the new Royal Academy with John Hopper, William Beechev and Thomas Lawrence.

Joshua Reynolds

The Honorable Miss Monckton 1777-1778

oil on canvas 240 × 147.3 cm

Bequeathed by Sir Edward Stern in 1933

United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019

Thomas Gainsborough

Lady Bate-Dudley c.1787

oil on canvas 221 × 184.5 centimeters

Private collection, on deposit at Tate Britain since 1989

United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019

William Hodges Falls with a view in the distance

on the Rajmahal Hills 1782 oil on canvas 62.2 × 72.4 cm

Presented as a gift by the Friends of the Tate Gallery, 1964

United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019







With them came a new perspective on childhood, wilderness, rural life in an apology of relaxation and bucolic innocence. These themes enrich the fashionable tradition of family and lineage portraits with intimate accents.


Gainsborough captures in his light the thrills of the soul, Reynolds tells us the story of a being suspended in his time before Turner comes to set the canvas on fire ... the immortal talents of an Eden with the vibrant colors of the proud Albion.






The Golden Age of English painting

Reynolds to Turner

Masterpieces of the Tate Britain

September 11, 2019 - February 16, 2020

Luxembourg Museum

19, rue Vaugirard, 75006 Paris

Joshua Reynolds

Lady Bampfylde around 1776-1778

oil on canvas 238.1 × 148 cm

Bequeathed by Alfred de Rothschild in 1918

United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019

Richard Wilson The Thames near Marble Hill, Twickenham circa 1762 oil on canvas 46.4 × 73 cm

Purchased 1937 United Kingdom, London, Tate © Tate 2019