This lady was famous for playing Perdita in Shakespeare’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’. She communicates a melancholy restlessness, while the dog and her are clearly one and the same being. Gainsborough’s faintly louring boscage threatens to engulf woman and dog, just as they might at any moment dissolve into eternal shadows. Find out more about Gainsborough in this splendid book: Gainsborough’s Landscapes.
More on this painting can be found here.