Thomas Gainsborough was born in May 1727 in Sudbury, Suffolk, and was the son of a cloth merchant. He showed artistic skills at an early age and when he was 13 years old he was sent to London to study drawing and etching. Gainsborough was one of the leading portrait painters in England in the later 18th century, his feathery brushwork and rich sense of colour contribute to the influence of portrait art.
In 1746, Thomas Gainsborough married Margaret Burr and they had two daughters. He was a founding member of the Royal Academy and around 1749, Gainsborough returned to Suffolk, where he lived and worked for a decade. He became a favourite painter of George III and his family and trained in London, setting up in practice in Ipswich around 1752. In 1759 he moved to Bath, attracting many clients for his portraits. He then settled in London in 1774. Gainsborough died on the 2nd August 1788.
Thomas Gainsborough has played a huge part in Sudbury’s history and he has been remembered in the town with a statue and art gallery.
Find out more about Thomas Gainsborough at biography.com.
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