Yes, it’s really coming home! Not just the football, but also the iconic portrait, ‘The Blue Boy’ by Thomas Gainsborough is returning to England for the first time in a century.
Gainsborough’s masterpiece (cir 1770) left the United Kingdom on January 25 in 1922. Exactly 100 years later, the painting will make a grand return home. It will be displayed in the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London. It’s currently displayed by its current owner, the Huntingdon Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. When The Blue Boy was sold to an American railway baron there was an outcry as many believed the country had lost a national treasure.
Let’s rejoice at the portrait’s return. It’s especially mysterious because in The Earth Emperor’s Eye the work features strongly in the tale as part of a grand celebration of art. The work’s also heavily linked to one of the main characters, and the portrait’s return is a symbolic reflection of closing events in the epic tale. It’s curious too that there’s 100 questions in The Haymaker’s Survey at the heart of the tale… and it’ll be 100 years between the departure and return of the work. What does it mean? Are we on the verge of a new beginning in our relationship with Mother Earth or is the Earth Emperor’s game almost up?