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Thomas Gainsborough ( 1727 - 1788 )  Category ( Painters ) [suggest a correction]
 

Thomas GainsboroughThomas Gainsborough was a prominent eighteenth-century English painter. He was predominantly famous for his portrait and landscape works. For a time it was considered the height of fashion to have Gainsborough paint one's portrait. His lush technique and style are still highly regarded; prints and reproductions of his famous work "The Blue Boy" adorns the walls of twenty-first century homes. Gainsborough was born in England to a family connected with the wool and weaving trades. His parents recognized his artistic talent early on and took the unusual decision of sending their son to London to study art. This was at the height of popularity for engravings, and so the young artist was first trained in that craft. Engraving was viewed as a practical career for artists, a trade in which they could realistically expect to support themselves. While he was training to be an engraver he met the artist and satirist, William Hogarth. During this period he participated in a group project, which painted decorations at London theaters and Vauxhall Gardens.

While he was in London he met and married Margaret Burr, a natural daughter of the Duke of Beaufort. Her father awarded the couple with a dowry of 200 pounds per month, not an insignificant sum at the time. Their small fortune allowed young Gainsborough a measure of financial freedom, and he was able to pursue his painting career at leisure. The couple had two daughters. By the late 1750s, Gainsborough was attracting regular commissions and began to participate in major exhibitions. Such exposure allowed him to attain national notoriety. In 1769 he was invited to become a founding member of the Royal Academy, though within five years he had a falling out with his Academy colleagues, and ceased exhibiting his paintings there. His difficulties at the academy did not affect his career. By the mid-1770s Gainsborough was sufficiently wealthy enough to move his family to a fashionable London address, and he was receiving commissions from English nobility. In 1780 he was commissioned to paint George III and his queen. Though he was never named official royal painter, due to political reasons, he continued to regularly paint the English royals and was considered their favorite painter. As he grew older, Gainsborough became less interested in portraiture and turned to landscape. He is considered a founding member of the eighteenth-century school of British landscape. By 1787 his health began to fail, and he died from cancer the following year. He was sixty-one years old.

Image: Self-portrait, painted 1759.


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Title :WebMuseum: Gainsborough, Thomas
 
 
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http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/bio/g/gainsbor/biograph.... [Comment on this link]
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Title :Biography
Description : Biography of GAINSBOROUGH, Thomas (b. 1727, Sudbury, d. 1788, London) in the Web Gallery of Art, a searchable image collection and database of European painting and sculpture (1100-1850)
 
 
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Title :Thomas Gainsborough - Biography
Description : A biography of artist Thomas Gainsborough.
 
 
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