Monday, May 29, 2017

Gainesborough's House, Sudbury, Suffolk

Gainsborough House is the former home of Thomas Gainsborough. This is the house where he was born. He lived here with his parents until he went to London at the age of 13. It has been turned into a museum dedicated to his life and it also houses a very nice collection of his works and some personal items of his. None of the furnishings, however, are original to the house; they are just to set the atmosphere and are from the correct time period.

Everyone here is very friendly. When I asked to take pictures, the woman who was working in the gift shop got the curator for me and he gave me permission as long as I didn't feature the paintings. I was very careful not to, as this was a great privilege.
The mulberry tree

We had the funniest experience on our whole trip here at Gainsborough House. When we were in the gift shop Linda told us to make sure we tried the mulberries in the garden as there is a 300-year old tree there and some of the fruit was still on the tree. She warned us to make sure we ate dark fruit otherwise it would be sour. Well, we've never seen a mulberry in our lives so we wandered out to the garden in search of one. 

We found some round red things that looked like crab apples so Joe and I took a little nibble of a couple of them. I then began a short conversation with a woman who was eating her lunch in the garden and she asked me why we were eating the rose hips. Rose hips, we thought they were mulberries, she looked at us like we were crazy and pointed out a large tree across the garden. 

That is the mulberry tree. We spit the rose hips out pretty fast let me tell you. Don't worry she told us they are high in vitamin C. Red-faced, we went over to try the mulberries, and all we need to do now is say rose hips and we get silly laughing.

In the hall is a small case with personal items a snuff box with his initials, a pocket watch, and a sword stick.

One of the portraits in the house is of a boy and it is believed to be the earliest portrait he painted, also, two pictures, one of a boy and one of a girl that were originally one picture, you can see her dress in the bottom of his picture. More of his paintings are on display here than anywhere else in the world.

It is an amazing experience to be able to see the artist's work in a venue that is of the period he was painting in. Come here to get a feel for what his world was like and to take a brief step back in time. Admission is 4.5 pounds. The house is open Mon -Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

On our second visit to the house a few years later we also walked along High Street in Sudbury and enjoyed some of the shops especially the thrift shops.

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