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    Companion piece to Gainsborough's Blue Boy

 
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Old January 30th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #1
John
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Default Companion piece to Gainsborough's Blue Boy

The Blue Boy (Jonathan Buttall) is one of the most famous paintings in the world.

I was checking the Artcyclopedia museum list for completeness today and stumbled upon Waddesdon Manor, in Buckinghamshire, UK.

They have a painting there known as The Pink Boy (Master Nichols). Not only is it quite beautiful in its own right, it's also extremely similar in style and composition to The Blue Boy. I haven't been able to find out much about it online, but in addition to the obvious similarities, Gainsborough apparently had both boys dress in historical dress, rather than in contemporary clothes.

Anyway I thought it might be of interest to some people. It's amazing how many great works are tucked away in odd corners of the world.

The Pink Boy:



The Blue Boy:







 
Old January 31st, 2006, 12:59 AM   #2
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This Article Is Quite Interesting .
 
Old January 31st, 2006, 02:28 AM   #3
John
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I don't think it's as remarkable a painting as The Blue Boy, but I suspect that one of the things working against it is the name. There is a tradition in Western society (maybe just in English speaking countries?) that blue signifies boys and pink signifies girls. Thus "The Pink Boy" sounds kind of comical, especially when contrasted with "The Blue Boy".

It sounds silly, but the whole thing about pink being unmasculine runs very deep. I can't really imagine anyone from Britain or North America not immediately making that mental association.

Interestingly, one of the sites with information on this painting mentioned that experts had specifically researched to see whether this pink-blue custom existed in Gainsborough's day, and found that it probably did not.
 
Old January 8th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #4
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Default Blue Boy

This is unbelivable! I have been researching Blue Boy and found that the Pink Girl doesn't seem to be the matching piece. To find another boy, in pink, is more mystifying. I have to know more now. How much more will we find?
Doesn't this just intrigue you to death?!
 
Old January 9th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #5
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Default Gainsborough's Pink Boy

Greetings ArtConversation Members,

Gainsborough's Pink Boy is one of the works presented in the e-Learning resource - Portraits and Portraiture from the Museum Network UK.
http://www.museumnetworkuk.org/portraits/index.html

Using five museum collections, teachers and pupils can find out more about the fascinating subject of portraiture, including how portraits were created, how to strike a commanding pose, how to tell someone’s status from their dress and the formal elements that go into making someone’s likeness.

This resource compares portraits in the following five museum collections:

The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham
Compton Verney in Warwickshire
The Holburne Museum of Art in Bath
Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire
The Wallace Collection in Central London

Here is the page for Pink Boy:
http://www.museumnetworkuk.org/portr...sdon/img5.html

Enjoy this resource.

Judy Decker
 
Old January 28th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #6
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Don't quote me or anything, because this information came from my Art History Teacher, and I don't entirely know how credible he is, but supposedly both artists were rivals. The pink boy was made first, and Nicholls had the strong belief that your subject should always be painted in relatively warm colors, with a darker background to make the subject come out. However, since they were rivals, Gainsborough made the blue boy, after the pink boy, in the complete opposite way. The blue boy has cooler colors, with a warmer background. By Nicholls's standards, this makes the background pop out more, taking away from the subject, but in reality, it didn't, and the blue boy ended up being much more popular.
 
Old April 10th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #7
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Question Simon W

Walter L Colls exhibited, in the 1903 Royal Photographic Society of GB annual exhibition, a photogravure (like a lithograph or print) of the Blue & Pink Gainsborough Boys.

Other years he was a respected Judge, and he apparently was a highly skilled/renowned photographer, plate maker, printer etc.

Does anyone know why he created these - I preume it was for a book, to satisfy demand for reproductions, or something. Any information appreciated as I have a signed copy of each and would like to know more about them.

simon@swam.uk.com
 
Old August 16th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Blue for Grils Pink for boys

Originally, pink was designated for boys, as it was thought to be the stronger color. In Christian tradition, red was associated as male, and its ‘little’ sibling pink was used for boys.(source) Blue was associated the Virgin Mary and therefore considered feminine.
 
Old March 4th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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The blue boy was painted blue for two reasons. Firstly it was to show a contemporary rival of his, Joshua Reynolds, that painting a costume in Blue, usually called a recessive colour, against a cold coloured background (blues and greens) was actually possible, something which Reynolds said wasn't and who had previously argued 'that the masses of light in a picture be always of a warm colour... green colours be kept almost entirely out of these masses... to make a picture splendid and harmonious'. The second reason was that the painting is an emulation in a similar style to that of Athony van Dyck, a famous English painter who many portraitists and members of the artistocracy admired at the time. This painting by Gainsborough is a direct reference to the painting ‘George Villiers, Second Duke of Buckingham and his brother Lord Francis Villiers’, 1635 by van Dyck. All of their clothes are bright primary colours etc.

I don't think that the clothing is blue because he is a boy, nor was the painting meant to be funny in the other painting because it is pink...
 
Old March 5th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #10
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Interesting background to the painting, thanks.
 
Old March 20th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #11
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Default Companion piece to Blue Boy

I have another companion pce I am anxious to find anyone who might be able to help me figure out who it is!! This portaits have been in my family for a very long time, the obvious being blue boy, but the other is of a young boy/girl wearing a bronze/organge colored outfit sitting in a chair.
I have searched many sites on line, thinking it may be done by Thomas gainsbourgh or even perhaps by Sir Anthony VanDyck...
A picture can be sent if anyone is willing to help me figure out this mystery!
 
Old March 20th, 2011, 01:10 PM   #12
John
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If you have a picture, you can click "Post Reply" below left and use the paperclip icon to upload it. Size limit is around 500K or so, so if you have one of those giant photographs that digital cameras are generating these days, you'll have to reduce it first.
 
Old April 25th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #13
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Default from counselor097@yahoo.com

i have a blue boy/pink girl painting set that has been in my family for 50 years. it was wedding gift to my parents. both are still in original frames. are they worth anything? how can i found out?
 
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