Blue - Gainsborough's Blue Boy is Back

This event has already finished


Apply code

Blue - Gainsborough's 'Blue Boy' is Back

On 25 January 1922 Gainsborough's celebrated painting, The Blue Boy, set sail for the United States. Having been sold to the dealer Joseph Duveen by its long-time owner, the Duke of Westminster, it had been bought by Henry E. Huntington for $728,000 - in those days equivalent to £182,000 - the highest price ever paid for a painting at the time. It is still one of the prized possessions of 'The Huntington' - a library, art museum and botanical garden which opened in 1928, a year after Henry's death: he hadn't had much time to enjoy his Gainsborough. For three weeks before it left the painting had been put on view in the National Gallery in London, where it was seen by 90,000 visitors. One hundred years to the day after it left - 25 January 2022 - the National Gallery has put it back on display, thanks to a generous loan from The Huntington. It can be seen in a small exhibition alongside other paintings by Gainsborough, comparing them to works by Sir Anthony van Dyck which inspired their creation, and nearby, in the Central Hall, the National Gallery has also created a display  of other 'Grand Manner' portraits. In this talk we will start with The Blue Boy himself - whoever he might be - and put the painting in the context of Gainsborough's career, his love of Van Dyck, and the history of Grand Manner portraiture in general. This will, of course, bring us back via The Red Boy to The White Girl...
Event finished
Via Zoom®
Mon 14th Mar 2022
6:00pm GMT
60 mins