The painting of The Blue Boy is possibly the most well known work by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) Gainsborough was noted for the speed with which he applied his paint, and he worked more from his observations of nature (and of human nature) than from any application of formal academic rules. The poetic sensibility of his paintings caused Constable to say, “On looking at them, we find tears in our eyes and know not what brings them.”
Of himself, Gainsborough said:
“I’m sick of portraits, and wish very much to take my viol-da-gam and walk off to some sweet village, where I can paint landskips (sic) and enjoy the fag end of life in quietness and ease.”
Transiting Gainsborough in Gemini trining Saturn in Libra could speak to a career change, sea change, tree change colour in the lives of some folks. Finding the balance between what pays the rent, what you do for love, and what nourishes the creative heart. Midlife changes, midlife crises, golden wood landscapes and Orpheus’ lyre (or liars). Did Gainsborough “paintshop” his patrons to look less jowlier and rotund than they were in life? It’s a canny artist who knows which side the bread is buttered on and how to keep jam on the table.
Gainsborough was a musician who played the viola and once said, “I paint portraits to live, landscapes because I love them, and music because I can’t leave it alone”.
Natally, Asteroid 8236 Gainsborough dwells on the cusp of my Eighth and Ninth houses at Taurus 7º A woman of Samaria, which is also the placement of Asteroid Lilith. When swapcards were objects of childhood desire in the 60s, I had the Blue Boy and Pinkie and knew nothing about the artist.
However, in the art world, it seems that the real companion piece to the Blue Boy was the Pink Boy!
Image source: ArtConversation
Curious and curiouser. Could Gainsborough also speak to matters hidden in the closet? The importance of being earnest? Or maybe it’s all about what’s fashionable and the fashionably vague. A subset of people that honk off my Lilith. Perhaps Gainsborough is simply about aesthetics and the psychological concept of “presenting well”. Of painting over the inner turmoil with an outward appearance of impeccable grooming. Judging books by their cover and not noticing the tiny cigarette burnholes in the clothing……
One time, I got smartly dressed in a cream raw-silk suit and went to the Mall. My credit card was close to being maxed out, yet I wanted some retail therapy. Being so well-dressed, the shop assistant assumed there was no reason to ring Head Office for authorisation of my purchases. Real easy to trick the vague with a bit of glamour! I may have missed my calling as a Con Artist. but who needs to rack up that much karma? Not this little dack bluck!
Gainsborough also painted a portrait of Georgiana Cavendish, The Duchess of Devonshire and, curiously, I have borrowed out the 2008 biopic The Duchess from the library to kick back and relax with. I might make myself some scones and have a Devonshire Tea!
A Gallery of Pretty Pictures
Portraits and Portraiture ~ Museum Network
About Pinkie at Wikipedia
Hue Consulting ~ Why is blue for boys and pink for girls?
Pink Think: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons – Lynn Peril