Thomas Gaugain after Richard Westall
A Peasant Boy [&] A Girl returning from milking
25.5 x 19.5 inches
A charming pair of colour printed, stipple plate engravings by Thomas Gaugain after the paintings by Richard Westall, published in London circa 1790.
Towards the end of the eighteenth century there was a huge fascination amongst the ruling classes with rustic life and a yearning to return to the simple virtues of a perceived bucolic idyll. This was set against a backdrop of revolution in France, severe deprivation in the English countryside and an impenetrable gulf between the fortunes of the peasant classes and the aristocratic elite. The hardships and grim reality of rural life were ignored as artists clamoured to depict a romanticised vision of pastoral bliss. Both Westall and Gaugain are well known exponents of this genre and these accomplished studies of a milkmaid and a ploughboy are delightful examples of their collaborative work.