Lot 103
  • 103

Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.

15,000 - 20,000 USD
40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.
  • Study of a Cow and Sheep
  • Black chalk, heightened with white
  • 243 by 347 mm; 9 1/2  by 13 1/2  in


Arthur Kay (1861-1939);
sale, London, Christie's, 23 May 1930, lot 37 (22 gns. to Meatyard);
Sir Michael Sadler (1861-1943);
with the Leicester Galleries, London;
Kenneth, Lord Clark of Saltwood, O.M., C.H., K.C.B. (1903-1983);
the Hon. Mrs Alan Clark, Seend Park;
the Saltwood Heritage Foundation;
their sale, London, Christie's, 25 April 1995, lot 4;
Miss Dorothy Scharf, acquired at the above sale;
the executors of Dorothy Scharf;
Lowell Libson Ltd., acquired from the above;
Private collection, USA;
acquired by the present owner from the above, 2009


M. Woodall, Gainsborough's Landscape Drawings, London 1939, p. 284;
J. Hayes, The Drawings of Thomas Gainsborough, London 1970, vol. I, p. 313, vol. II, pl. 144

Catalogue Note

The present work can be dated to the second half of the 1770s and forms part of a small group of surviving animal drawings that Gainsborough made throughout his career. In his 1970 catalogue raisonne, John Hayes, noted that the great majority of these works were drawn directly from life.

The drawing has a very distinguished provenance. It was first recorded in the collection of Arthur Kay, a highly respected connoisseur and one of the first British collectors of Impression painting. Later it was owned by Sir Michael Sadler, who had a significant collection and was Master of University College, Oxford. Later still, it entered the legendary collection of Lord Clark of Saltwood. One of the leading art-historians of his day, at the age of thirty-one he was appointed director of London's National Gallery, before becoming official 'keeper' of the King's Pictures. He achieved international fame with his ground-breaking television series Civilisation. We are grateful to Hugh Belsey, M.B.E. for his help when cataloguing this work.