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Thomas Gainsborough (British 1727-1788)

Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk on the 14th May 1727 and died on August 2nd 1788 at the age of 61.

The son of a wool manufacturer Gainsborough is arguably one of the most accomplished and celebrated portrait artists of the C18th with a talent for not only portraiture but also a very accomplished Landscape painter. He trained in London, and set up in practice in Ipswich about 1752. In 1759 he moved to Bath, a fashionable spa town, attracting many clients for his portraits. He moved to London in 1774. His private inclination was for landscape and rustic scenes, and his amusing letters record his impatience with his clients’ demands for portraits. Gainsborough was a founding member of the Royal academy, exhibiting many pictures at the accademy before a well-documented “difference” of opinion in which he fought the Academy over their style of hanging pictures. Gainsborough and Reynolds were celebrated amongst their distinguished sitters and a rivalry developed between the two with Gainsborough becoming the favoured painter to George III and his family.