Art works draw crowds as Gainsborough show opens in Moscow
- Credit: Mark Bills
The works of renowned Suffolk artist Thomas Gainsborough have gone on show in Russia for the first time.
A total of 63 pieces from the Gainsborough's House museum in Sudbury are being exhibited at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
They have been loaned by the musum in Gainsborough Street, along with pieces from other collections around the UK, after it closed for a multi-million refurbishment.
Museum director Mark Bills said the exhibition had created great excitement in Russia and demonstrated the international importance of Gainsborough as an artist.
"It was really very moving to see the crowds of people in Russia showing such interest for Gainsborough, it is being greatly enjoyed," he said.
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The exhibition is a partnership with the Pushkin museum and a reciprocal display of works from its French 19th century landscape collection is scheduled to be held in Sudbury in 2022.
Mr Bills said: "I cannot wait to see some of their masterpieces come to Sudbury in 2022. We know the British public will respond with the same enthusiasm."
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Gainsborough's House - where Gainsborough was born in 1727 - has now closed for a £9 million development project that will see the renovation of the house and the construction of a three-storey extension.
The project has been funded by around £5.2m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with the rest being matched from the support of private donations.
Once complete it will be the largest gallery in Suffolk, providing spaces for exhibitions, displays and learning with four new galleries - including a landscape studio with panoramic views over Sudbury and an orangery-style café overlooking the 18th-century garden.
Thomas Gainsborough was a portrait and landscape painter who is considered one of the most important British artists of the late 18th century.
He is best known for works such as 'Mr and Mrs Andrews', 'The Blue Boy' and 'The Morning Walk'.
He also painted portraits of King George III and was a founder member of the Royal Academy.
Gainsborough died of cancer in 1788 and is buried in Kew, Surrey.