Given that Thomas Gainsborough’s 1770 painting titled “Blue Boy” is arguably the most famous artwork at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, it is no surprise it was selected as the cover image and a prominent subject of a new book on the cultural institution’s European art collection.
“Blue Boy & Co.: European Art at The Huntington” is currently available for purchase at The Huntington Store. The book was written by Catherine Hess and Melinda McCurdy with contributions by John Brewer and Kevin Salatino.
When The Huntington’s founder, Henry Huntington, purchased “Blue Boy” in 1921 from art dealer Joseph Duveen, it was said to be the “the highest ever paid for a painting” at $725,000. Duveen had purchased it from Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster.
Salatino, who is the Hannah and Russel Kully Director of Art Collections at The Huntington, wrote the foreword about “Blue Boy.” He began it by referencing a 1922 Cole Porter song about the sale of the famous British painting.
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