OIL PAINTING: Mrs. Peter William Baker, 1781
Gainsborough painted more from his observations of nature than from any application of formal rules. This applies to his portrait paintings too. The poetic sensibility of Gainsborough's portraits and landscapes caused Constable to say, "On looking at them, we find tears in our eyes and know not what brings them." Gainsborough himself 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."