Thomas Gainsborough

1727-1788 England-Rococo

 

Brief Biography-Thomas Gainsborough from the town of Sudbury, England, loved painting landscapes but became one of England’s most renowned portraitists. He was the youngest of the nine children of a humble cloth merchant. His mother who was an amateur artist recognized his talent at an early age and sent him to London when he was fifteen for tuition. He entered the Saint Martin’s Lane Academy where he gained influence from the Director William Hogarth and the portraitist and historical painter Francis Hayman. He was also influenced by his master Hubert Gravelot in the style of rococo.

He set up studio in Hatten Garden in 1745 where he made a living from selling copies of masters’ paintings. In 1764, he married Margaret Burr the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Beaufort. They had a stable marriage and his two daughters were frequently used as models in his paintings. When his Father died, they moved to Ipswich for the following seven years. There he led a busy life painting landscapes but his works failed to sell well and he begrudgingly leaned towards portraiture for a living.

It was only when he moved to Bath that his career began to take off in any appreciative manner. It wasn’t long before he became considerably successful what with the influx of visitors to Bath commissioning his work. He gained access to the works of Van Dyck and other masters in the houses of wealthy patrons, this had a profound bearing on his portraiture. In his spare time, he enjoyed learning to play the viol di gamba and other stringed instruments.

In 1768, he was made a founding member of the Royal Academy and moved to London in 1774. He was frequently at odds with the hanging committee over the way his paintings were hung and he eventually exhibited at his house in Pall Mall. It wasn’t until 1781 that he came into royal favour and did a considerable amount of work in Windsor. He now had gained a good deal of wealth and acquired an exclusive residence in Richmond.

He collaborated with Philip Jacques de Loutherbourg the illustrator and stage designer on experimental scenes and was inspired by the artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, which led to his paintings of what were referred to by his age-old rival Sir Joshua Reynolds as the “fancy pictures”. They were paintings of idyllic genre scenes mostly of beggar children which became particularly popular and achieved high prices. He spent his later years on sketching trips around England. Before he died of cancer in 1788 it was considered that he reconciled with Sir Joshua Reynolds on his deathbed.

 

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John Montagu

John Montagu Fourth Earl of Sandwich

Mrs Hatchett

Mrs Charles Hatchett

Mrs Drummond

Mrs Drummond

Mrs Peter Baker

Mrs Peter William Baker

Cottage Girl

Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher

David Garrick

David Garrick

The Wood Gatherers

Cottage Children The Wood Gatherers

A Boy with a Cat

A Boy with a Cat

Mrs Thomas Hibbert

Mrs Thomas Hibbert

The Blue Boy

The Blue Boy

Octavius

Octavius of Great Britain

Hon F Duncombe

The Honorable Frances Duncombe

View in Suffolk

View in Suffolk

Landscape

A Coastal Landscape

Landscape in Suffolk

Landscape in Suffolk

A Grand Landscape

A Grand Landscape

Seashore

Seashore with Fishermen

Be Soaked

Be Soaked in Sunset Vehicles

Harvest Wagon

The Harvest Wagon

Drinkstone Park

Drinkstone Park

Heneage Lloyd

Heneage Lloyd and His Sister

The Mall

The Mall in Saint James s Park

Conversation

Conversation in a Park

River Landscape

River Landscape

A Gentleman

Portrait of a Gentleman

Painters' Daughters

The Painters Daughters Chasing a Butterfly

Master Nicholls

Master Nicholls The Pink Boy

The Charterhouse

The Charterhouse

Charlotte G

Charlotte Gainsborough

Count Rumford

Count Rumford

Edward Vernon

Edward Vernon

Elizabeth Wrottesly

Elizabeth Wrottesly

Francis Rawdon

Francis Rawdon

Wooded Upland

Wooded Upland Landscape

Grace D Elliott

Grace Dalrymple Elliott

Isaac H Sequeira

Isaac Henrique Sequeira

Richard Savage

The Honorable Richard Savage Nassau de Zuylestein MP

James Maitland

James Maitland  eighth Earl of Lauderdale

Jean Joseph Merlin

Jean Joseph Merlin

The Stuarts

Lords John and Bernard Stuart

John Campbell

John Campbell fourth Duke of Argyll

John Henderson

John Henderson

John Hobart

John Hobart second Earl of Buckinghamshire

John Russell

John Russell fourth Duke of Bedford

Joseph Gibbs

Joseph Gibbs

Karl Friedrich Abel

Karl Friedrich Abel

Lady Alston

Lady Alston

Lady Bate Dudley

Lady Bate Dudley

Lady Cavendish

Lady Georgiana Cavendish

Lady in Blue

Lady in Blue

Lady Sheffield

Lady Sheffield

Lord Ligonier

Lord Ligonier

The Artist's Wife

The Artist's Wife

Mary Gainsborough

Mary Gainsborough

Master Heathcote

Master John Heathcote

Mrs Grace D Elliot

Mrs Grace Dalrymple Elliot

edward r gardiner

edward richard gardiner