Saturday, May 8, 2021

Footsteps Of History

 This painting represents an experiment gone awry. Charles Churchill is by British artist Joshua Reynolds, dating to 1755. The ghostly pallor we see on the subject results from experimental techniques by the artist that didn't go according to plan.

River Landscape With Cattle Watering and Ferry Boat is by Thomas Gainsborough, circa 1754-56.

Gainsborough also painted this 1780 portrait, The Reverend William Stevens.

Venus Presenting Arms to Aeneas is by Jean Restout the Younger. It dates to 1717.

A look back at where I had come into this large space.

And to end things for today, one of the treasures of the Gallery. The Death of General Wolfe is a dramatic painting by American artist Benjamin West, dating to 1770. This is deemed the primary version of the painting, which has several variants elsewhere. It features the dying British general at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City at the climax of the French and Indian War. His forces have won the battle, but their general has lost his life.


  1. Ottawa's citizens are lucky to have these to contemplate in person!

  2. To be honest... might gone "awry", but it looks cool.
    Today people use filters to create this.

  3. The Wolfe painting stirs a memory. I have obviously seen it before, but I now have a vague recollection of it being in a book that we had lying about when I was young. It may be a false memory.

  4. I wonder how many local residents never visit the gallery to view this stunning collection? Perhaps your blog will stimulate greater interest when everything open up again, post pandemic. That should be sometime this century!

  5. @Cloudia: indeed.

    @Iris: that's true.

    @Anvilcloud: you have likely seem it.

    @David: hopefully.

    @Tom: thank you.

  6. It is sad that our local museum has nothing much to offer at this time of lockdown.

  7. Apart from the lovely paintings loved your shot of the hall!

  8. What a space full of treasures!

  9. That's especially fascinating about the ghostly pallor! Odd -- he could have painted over it.

  10. The story of each painting is interesting.

  11. Yes, ~ great stories for the paintings ~ Xo

    Living moment by moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  12. A special and beautiful exhibit.

  13. Poor Charles, he looks like he's barely holding on.

  14. Thank you again for sharing all these notable works of magnificent art. We have a few famous Gainsborough's at the Huntington Library in Pasadena.

  15. @Nancy: it's a challenge in these times.

    @Magiceye: thank you.

    @RedPat: that it is.

    @Jeanie: mistakes happen. It's still a good painting.

    @Red: that's true.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Bill: very much so.

    @Sharon: like death warmed over.

    @Eve: you're welcome.

  16. Stevens looks a lot less ghostly. All interesting pictures, though.

  17. So different in technique from today's art. Once cameras and photography became accessible, art changed. No more requirements to paint accurate portraits.

  18. I wonder if Reynolds lived long enough to realize his painting had shifted.

    1. He lived many more years, but who knows if he saw the painting again.

  19. Absolutely fabulous again William.