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Thomas Gainsborough R.A. The Shepard and his FlockSoft Ground Etching Conceived by Thomas Gainsborough and Engraved by W.F. Wells and J. Laporte for John and Josiah Boydell, London in 1819 . One of several from a series of 60 fine soft ground etchings, 37 with original water color wash hand applied by professional water colorist of the day, under the supervision of BoydellEach image is 9.5 by 11.5 inches with the plate marked and the image 7.25 by 10.25 inches with the inscription of T. Gainsborough R.A. and Del., J Laporte sculpt. on the lower side, both below the etched image. These all have a little foxing to the sheets out side of the engraved work on wove watercolor paper otherwise in nice condition. Thomas Gainsborough is considered to have been one of the most innovative and important British print makers of the 18th century and, although he attained both fame and fortune through his outstanding ability as a portrait painter, he viewed himself more as a landscape artist, especially during his early years.Thomas Gainsborough continued to produce accomplished landscapes of great ingenuity throughout his life but apart from the four etchings which he made during the 1850’s, he did not produce any further original prints for around fifteen to twenty years. When he did return to print making he experimented in a variety of media, working mostly in aquatint and soft ground etching. None of his later prints were published in his lifetime.