Art Critique: Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk’) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

Mr and Mrs William Hallett ('The Morning Walk') by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

When I went to the National Gallery in London, England, I saw a life-size, oil and canvas painting by Gainsborough titled, “The Morning Walk.” I liked it for three simple reasons: 1) I love Gainsborough’s light, feathery brushstrokes 2) I related the painting to my boyfriend and me walking my silly dog as part of our daily routine. 3) It was featured as a backdrop in the James Bond “Skyfall” movie– when he first meets Q (CLIP HERE).

Q & Bond at the National Gallery, London.

Q & Bond at the National Gallery, London.

However, I digress. The point is, this painting was made for a simple reason: to create a marriage portrait for William Hallett and Elizabeth Stephen (both aged 21 at the time) and due to be married in the summer of 1785. The couple solemnly link arms to walk in woodland landscape with a panting, joyful Spitz dog at Elizabeth’s heel. According to the National Gallery, “Portraits of wealthy sitters posed in a natural setting and dressed in their finest (but not necessarily most practical) clothes were a popular status symbol.” The conversation piece, which is the undone jacket and with one hand tucked into it is a stance seen in many fashionable 18th-centry informal portraits. There is also speculation that Elizabeth’s ivory silk dress is her wedding dress.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Art Critique: Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk’) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

  1. I agree with you, this painting is fantastic!!! I’ve been looking for some information about it and I found your blog! I really love it! It is a shame that the last post is from September 2013. I hope you will come back here one day!

Opinions? Comments? Please, let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s