Thomas Gainsborough — Студопедия
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Thomas Gainsborough




(1727-1788)

Gainsborough was born in Suffolk. He was the youngest of the nine children in the family. He went to school in his native town.

When a boy he was very good at drawing, and according to a story about him, he made such a good portrait from memory of a thief whom he had seen robbing a garden that the thief was caught.

Gainsborough painted portraits and landscapes and is often compared with Reynolds; his style is also influenced by the Dutch masters and Van Dyck. Despite these influences he worked out his personal style. His portraits are painted in clear tones. His colour is always tender and soft.

He succeeded as a portrait-painter. Among his most famous portraits are the portrait of Mrs. Siddon, a famous actress in a blue dress, and the picture known as "Blue Boy" - a boy in a blue costume.

Gainsborough was fond of painting landscapes. Even in the portrait painting he is an out-of-door painter. If you think of his finest portraits you will immediately remember that the backgrounds are well-observed country scenes. The famous “Blue Boy” is placed against an open sky and a background of brown and green landscape. In Mrs. Sheridan’s portrait the background is the wide sky and broad view into the valley.

Gainsborough painted some 500 pictures. There is a representative collection of his drawings at the British Museum.

He loved the country-side of his childhood and often said that the Suffolk countryside had made him a painter.

He lived in that period when landscape painting was not in fashion. Rich people did not spend money on landscapes. So it's really remarkable that there were more than 40 unsold landscapes in his studio at the time of his death. (1415)

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