Thomas Gainsborough

1727-1788 British Thomas Gainsborough Locations English painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was the contemporary and rival of Joshua Reynolds, who honoured him on 10 December 1788 with a valedictory Discourse (pubd London, 1789), in which he stated: If ever this nation should produce genius sufficient to acquire to us the honourable distinction of an English School, the name of Gainsborough will be transmitted to posterity, in the history of Art, among the very first of that rising name. He went on to consider Gainsborough portraits, landscapes and fancy pictures within the Old Master tradition, against which, in his view, modern painting had always to match itself. Reynolds was acknowledging a general opinion that Gainsborough was one of the most significant painters of their generation. Less ambitious than Reynolds in his portraits, he nevertheless painted with elegance and virtuosity. He founded his landscape manner largely on the study of northern European artists and developed a very beautiful and often poignant imagery of the British countryside. By the mid-1760s he was making formal allusions to a wide range of previous art, from Rubens and Watteau to, eventually, Claude and Titian. He was as various in his drawings and was among the first to take up the new printmaking techniques of aquatint and soft-ground etching. Because his friend, the musician and painter William Jackson (1730-1803), claimed that Gainsborough detested reading, there has been a tendency to deny him any literacy. He was, nevertheless, as his surviving letters show, verbally adept, extremely witty and highly cultured. He loved music and performed well. He was a person of rapidly changing moods, humorous, brilliant and witty. At the time of his death he was expanding the range of his art, having lived through one of the more complex and creative phases in the history of British painting. He painted with unmatched skill and bravura; while giving the impression of a kind of holy innocence, he was among the most artistically learned and sophisticated painters of his generation. It has been usual to consider his career in terms of the rivalry with Reynolds that was acknowledged by their contemporaries; while Reynolds maintained an intellectual and academic ideal of art, Gainsborough grounded his imagery on contemporary life, maintaining an aesthetic outlook previously given its most powerful expression by William Hogarth. His portraits, landscapes and subject pictures are only now coming to be studied in all their complexity; having previously been viewed as being isolated from the social, philosophical and ideological currents of their time, they have yet to be fully related to them. It is clear, however, that his landscapes and rural pieces, and some of his portraits, were as significant as Reynolds acknowledged them to be in 1788.

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Thomas Gainsborough Portrait of Jonathan Buttall oil painting


Portrait of Jonathan Buttall
Painting ID::  1296
Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
Painting: Portrait of Jonathan Buttall
Introduction: 1770 The Huntington Art Collections, San Marino
   
   
     

Thomas Gainsborough Mrs Philip Thicknesse oil painting


Mrs Philip Thicknesse
Painting ID::  1299
Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
Painting: Mrs Philip Thicknesse
Introduction: 1759-60 Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
   
   
     

Thomas Gainsborough Portrait of Henrietta Vernon 10 oil painting


Portrait of Henrietta Vernon 10
Painting ID::  1300
Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
Painting: Portrait of Henrietta Vernon 10
Introduction: 1766-67 Collection of the Duke of Westminster
   
   
     

Thomas Gainsborough Mr and Mrs Andrews oil painting


Mr and Mrs Andrews
Painting ID::  1302
Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
Painting: Mr and Mrs Andrews
Introduction: 1750 National Gallery, London
   
   
     

Thomas Gainsborough Mary, Countess Howe oil painting


Mary, Countess Howe
Painting ID::  1303
Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
Painting: Mary, Countess Howe
Introduction: 1760 Iveagh Bequest Kenwood
   
   
     

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     Check All Thomas Gainsborough's Paintings Here!
     1727-1788 British Thomas Gainsborough Locations English painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was the contemporary and rival of Joshua Reynolds, who honoured him on 10 December 1788 with a valedictory Discourse (pubd London, 1789), in which he stated: If ever this nation should produce genius sufficient to acquire to us the honourable distinction of an English School, the name of Gainsborough will be transmitted to posterity, in the history of Art, among the very first of that rising name. He went on to consider Gainsborough portraits, landscapes and fancy pictures within the Old Master tradition, against which, in his view, modern painting had always to match itself. Reynolds was acknowledging a general opinion that Gainsborough was one of the most significant painters of their generation. Less ambitious than Reynolds in his portraits, he nevertheless painted with elegance and virtuosity. He founded his landscape manner largely on the study of northern European artists and developed a very beautiful and often poignant imagery of the British countryside. By the mid-1760s he was making formal allusions to a wide range of previous art, from Rubens and Watteau to, eventually, Claude and Titian. He was as various in his drawings and was among the first to take up the new printmaking techniques of aquatint and soft-ground etching. Because his friend, the musician and painter William Jackson (1730-1803), claimed that Gainsborough detested reading, there has been a tendency to deny him any literacy. He was, nevertheless, as his surviving letters show, verbally adept, extremely witty and highly cultured. He loved music and performed well. He was a person of rapidly changing moods, humorous, brilliant and witty. At the time of his death he was expanding the range of his art, having lived through one of the more complex and creative phases in the history of British painting. He painted with unmatched skill and bravura; while giving the impression of a kind of holy innocence, he was among the most artistically learned and sophisticated painters of his generation. It has been usual to consider his career in terms of the rivalry with Reynolds that was acknowledged by their contemporaries; while Reynolds maintained an intellectual and academic ideal of art, Gainsborough grounded his imagery on contemporary life, maintaining an aesthetic outlook previously given its most powerful expression by William Hogarth. His portraits, landscapes and subject pictures are only now coming to be studied in all their complexity; having previously been viewed as being isolated from the social, philosophical and ideological currents of their time, they have yet to be fully related to them. It is clear, however, that his landscapes and rural pieces, and some of his portraits, were as significant as Reynolds acknowledged them to be in 1788.