User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Haymaker and Sleeping Girl

Start collecting

The existence of a preparatory drawing indicates that Gainsborough took particular pains with this composition. Although apparently about erotic desire, the painting also offers a deeper meditation on longing and regret. The young woman's pale skin and refined clothing suggest that she is not a...

Show Full Description


1788, gift of the artist to his nephew, Gainsborough Dupont (b. 1754 - d. 1797); April 1, 1797, Dupont sale, Christie's, London, lot 103, bought in by Crofts [see note 1]; by descent within the family to his nephew, Richard Gainsborough Dupont; June 8, 1872, Dupont sale, Christie's, London, lot 67, to White. By 1891, William Houldsworth, Halifax, Yorkshire; May 23, 1891, Houldsworth sale, Christie's, London, lot 60, to Agnew's, London (stock no. 5987); between 1903 - 1905, sold by Agnew's to Lord James Joicey, 1st Baron Joicey, Chester-Le-Street, Durham [see note 2]; about 1907, sold by Joicey to E.M. Hodgkins, Paris; from Hodgkins to Samuel G. Archibald, Paris and Montreal; March 30, 1951, posthumous Archibald sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, lot 249, to Cecil G. Doward, New York for $1800 [see note 3]. By 1953, Vose Galleries, Boston; 1953, sold by Vose Galleries to the MFA for $15,000. (Accession Date: December 10, 1953) NOTES: [1] See The Fifth Volume of the Walpole Society, 1915-16 and 1916-1917, Ed. A.J. Finberg, pg. 96, no. 103 and pg. 98, footnote 1. [2] See Century of Loan Exhibitions, Agnew's, 1903, no. 21. According to Vose, the work was possibly exhibited by Joicey in London/Glasgow in 1905. [3] According to sale catalogue annotation, the painting probably went directly from Doward to Vose.

Credit Line

M. Theresa B. Hopkins Fund and Seth K. Sweetser Fund

Mushroom Girl

late 1780s


Overall: 227.3 x 149.9 cm (89 1/2 x 59 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas