Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) went to London at the age of 14 to study art with an English portraitist and a French engraver. When he was 19 he married an heiress, and though he had to paint portraits for a livelihood, he was able to afford to paint landscapes for his own enjoyment. His sitters enabled him to have access to the great houses where he could study the masterpieces hanging on the walls, and many of his figure placements are reminiscent of other painters, though his work was unique in its own style. In particular, Gainsborough's ability to render the texture of fabric was unrivalled. Gainsborough was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1868, and set up his own studio in London in 1774; he is often compared with his competitor Sir Joshua Reynolds. We import prints of Gainsborough paintings from a fine art publisher in the US.