Mini Biography: Thomas Gainsborough

Birth: before May 14, 1727
Death: Aug. 2, 1788
Nationality: English
Movement: Romanticism or Rococo*
Born in Suffolk Gainsborough left home at about 13 to study art in London and was taught by Hubert Gravelot before marrying at age 19 to the illegitimate daughter of a duke. The young couple lived in several small towns and had two daughters before Gainsborough moved his family to London in 1774. Within a few years he was exhibiting portraits at the Royal Academy and dabbling in printmaking. By 1780 Gainsborough, after painting portraits of both King George III and the queen, began receiving royal commissions. Later in his career he painted landscapes which he back lit on what he called a “showbox” which is itself on display in a London museum. Gainsborough is buried at St Anne’s Church in Kew. On March 18th, 2017 Thomas Gainsborough’s painting titled Mr. and Mrs. William Hallett (aka The Morning Walk) was attacked at the National Gallery in London by a man wielding a screwdriver.
Some of Thomas Gainsborough’s notable artwork includes: The Artist’s Daughters pictured below, Ann Ford (1760) ** and the very well known painting Blue Boy (1770.)


Gainsborough, Thomas. The Artist’s Daughters with a Cat (1759-1761), National Gallery, London.
To learn more about Thomas Gainsborough or to view more examples of his work visit:
National Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
*There could be arguments made for Gainsborough to be included in either of these artistic styles. You can read more about Romanticism and Rococo and decide for yourself, or argue with yourself, whichever seems more fun.
**This is, in my estimation, the best of Gainsborough’s work.