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The National Gallery to Show Thomas Gainsborough’s Painting The Blue Boy for the First Time in 100 Years | UK News

A famous British painting has returned to the United Kingdom after spending the last century in the United States.

Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy was last exhibited at the National Gallery on January 25, 1922 – and it will be back for visitors to see exactly 100 years to the day since its last exhibition.

The 1770 oil painting was visited by 90,000 people before being sold to American railroad magnate Henry Edwards Huntington for $ 728,800 (£ 182,200), which was a record price at the time , according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Undated photo published by the National Gallery of people looking at the Blue Boy, painted in 1770 by Thomas Gainsborough.  The painting is due to return to the National Gallery one hundred years to the day since its last exhibition, the gallery said.  Issue date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
It has been viewed by 90,000 visitors in the last three weeks of the exhibition, the National Gallery said.

Prior to his departure from the National Gallery, former director Charles Holmes wrote “Au Revoir” on the back of the work in hopes that it would return one day.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, said: “The loan of the Gainsborough Blue Boy to the National Gallery is truly exceptional and a unique opportunity for visitors to see Gainsborough at his best.

“Rich in historical resonances, a painting of supreme poise and elegance, The Blue Boy is, without a doubt, a masterpiece of British art.”

The painting, which depicts a young man in a blue suit, is said to be that of Jonathan Buttall, the son of a wealthy merchant.

It is on loan to the gallery from the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, where it has been on display since its purchase by Mr. Huntington.

Huntington President Karen R Lawrence said: “This masterpiece has left an indelible mark on the history of art and popular culture, capturing the imaginations of a wide range of audiences.

“Given The Blue Boy’s iconic status at The Huntington, this is an unprecedented loan, which we have looked at very carefully.

“We hope that this partnership with the National Gallery will spark new conversations, appreciation and research on both …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-30 06:59:00

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