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Thomas Gainsborough
United Kingdom 1727−1788
Biography and information
Is significant for the biography of Thomas Gainsborough axioms. For example, such: the eighteenth century, the heyday of English painting, made three great. Of them Hogarth — realist and «bytovik», Constable — landscape painter, and Gainsborough — portrait par excellence. All the way. That’s only the Gainsborough said that «there is no hell worse than portrait painting», it was «sick» and sometimes he «is ready to slit his throat with a knife for cleaning palette». Portraits sold well and exhibited landscapes of little interest. But the landscape of Gainsborough is thought to be his real vocation.

Any official biography of Thomas Gainsborough will tell, his father was a merchant of cloth. There is a delicate nuance: in the town of Sudbury in Eastern Britain, John Gainsborough, was a monopoly on sewing shrouds. His business he loved, even went to exchange experience in France and the Netherlands, and one moonlit night, crossing the border, scared to death of the customs officer, when, in response to request to produce your goods wrapped in a shroud. In the mid-seventeenth century Parliament passed a law requiring sewing only cloth from English wool, so in the case of John and his wife Suzanne were going great, the family grew. Thomas was their youngest, the ninth child. But whether the inhabitants of Sudbury suddenly changed my mind to die, whether changed conditions: when Thomas was six, the family went bankrupt and left on the street only due to the kind relative, who bought them at the auction house.

Not everyone with honor will carry poverty after years of prosperity. But not a bunch of Gainsborough! All children differed mind and ingenuity. The eldest, Jack, was designed by the eternal charge for cuckoo clocks, camarasaurus the cradle, and then, like Icarus, tried to fly on wings of copper. More practical Humphrey received the award for the improvement of the steam engine. Thomas basically was doing the how to invent a plausible excuse to the teacher excused him from lessons. In the picturesque surroundings of Sudbury, he spent hours sketching out the hills and valleys, as well as horses, cows, dogs and sheep. Joked that in the district there is not one group of trees and shrubs that Gainsborough could not reproduce from memory. His younger contemporary and countryman, the great landscape painter constable will say: «In Sudbury, I see Gainsborough in every hollow tree and every hedge».

The house of Gainsborough passed away early — at the age of 13. And since then the sale of small sketches provided himself. He married too early — at 18. Margaret, his wife, was the illegitimate daughter of the Duke de Beaufort, a 200-pound annual rent, put her father once rescued a family of Gainsborough, when the orders were very very tight.

The nature of talent Gainsborough can be called a nugget: the systematic arts education he never received, but studied in London for a French painter of gubera was Gravel. Last known fact that planted in English soil Rococo style. His pupil, Gainsborough became one of the virtuoso artists of England, will long prevail curvilinear rhythms characteristic of the Rococo.

About 1750-St Thomas and Margaret moved to the town of Ipswich. They already have a daughter, Mary, and soon to be born and the second — the same Margaret as a mother. A series of paired portraits of the daughters of the artist, executed with great skill and spontaneity — the best of created by Gainsborough in Ipswich, and, according to many, the best children’s portraits in British art.

Family in search of work moved to bath, a fashionable aristocratic resort. Sociable and musical Gainsborough quickly finds friends among the actors, musicians, patrons, and the idle and the rich summer visitors bought him the portraits. There is a story about how noble the customer by adopting a picturesque pose in the chair, demanded that Gainsborough did not forget to capture thoroughbred dimple on his chin. To this the artist replied that he did not intend to portray the «nasty nor dimple nor the whole goddamn chin.»

In bath, in addition to a large number of useful contacts, Gainsborough and happens to be the most important meeting in a different manner — familiarity with the work Van Dyck and landscapes late Rubens. Critics find that they have radically transformed the work of the Mature Gainsborough.

Moving Gainsborough to London in the mid 1770s is associated with membership in the Royal Academy of arts. But in 1784, the artist with the scandal will leave her. The reason is an underlying rivalry with Joshua Reynoldsa portrait painter, theorist and founder of the Academy, the reason is that the paintings for the exhibition were hung somewhat higher than Gainsborough asked. The easiest way to call it unreasonable whims. But in the memories of all who knew him, the artist remained a man of modest and discreet. Obviously, for Gainsborough, the question of the context in which you placed his pictures are very crucial. «I would be happy— he turned to the customers if you put the picture so that the light fell on the left…«Work of Gainsborough always started in a darkened room and does not distract from the composition, and availability of the paintings were allowed in the Studio more and more light. The light will be the main «know-how» of Gainsborough. His landscapes and portraits, organically inscribed in the landscape (this is the second «know-how» Gainsborough landscape that accompanies the mood of the model), imbued with special, pure English sense of light, splavlyaya objects in the painting into a magical whole.

To 60 years, Gainsborough has finally reached the popularity: not only portraits, but also landscapes, and even a rural thing he wrote with a pleasant nostalgia for childhood in Sudbury, were sold for very good money. However, at that time they were still cheaper than belonging to Reynolds.

In 1787, the year of Gainsborough all of a sudden had predicted his impending death. Having met the playwright Sheridan, author of «School for scandal» (Gainsborough once wrote to his charming wife), the artist said: «I have many friends, but few friends. I look perfectly healthy, but I feel that I will die soon. I wish for the coffin was a decent man. Promise that it will be you!» To deny Sheridan could not.

Less than a year after Gainsborough died of cancer. Before his death, he was visited by the eternal rival and opponent, Reynolds, and the last words of Gainsborough were «We will all be in heaven and van Dyck is with us».

Author: Anna Yesterday

See also: Unexpected Thomas Gainsborough — 7 stories about the Hobbies and quirks of the artist
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Kristina Martirosyan

The Dutch national museum Rijksmuseum in the exhibition “High Society”  in Amsterdam has gathered almost 40 magnificent full-length portraits from the 16th to the 20th centuries by the leading artists of their day. The paintings offer a fascinating insight into the messages that the great and the good sought to convey about themselves.

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Artworks by the artist
total 773 artworks
Thomas Gainsborough. Portrait of actress Sarah Siddons
Portrait of actress Sarah Siddons
1785, 126×99.5 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. The boy in blue. Portrait Of Jonathan Buttle
The boy in blue. Portrait Of Jonathan Buttle
1770, 178×122 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. Portrait of a lady in blue
Portrait of a lady in blue
1780-th , 76.5×63.5 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. A peasant Smoking a pipe at the door of the hut
A peasant Smoking a pipe at the door of the hut
1788, 196×158 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. Self-portrait
1787, 73.5×58.5 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. A trip to the market
A trip to the market
1787, 184×153 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. Portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
1787, 219.7×153.7 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. Morning walk. Portrait of squire William Hallet with his wife Elizabeth
Morning walk. Portrait of squire William Hallet with his wife Elizabeth
1785, 236.2×179.1 cm
Thomas Gainsborough. Peasant girl with dog and pitcher
Peasant girl with dog and pitcher
1785, 174×125 cm
View 773 artworks by the artist