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Thomas Gainsborough


Blue boy, painted 1770
by Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough (May 14, 1727 - August 2, 1788) was one of the most famous portrait and landscape painters of 18th-century[?] England.

He was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, England. As a painter, he lived and worked in Sudbury, Ipswich, Bath and London. With Richard Wilson, he was one of the originators of the eighteenth-century British landscape school, and, with rival Joshua Reynolds, he was the dominant English portraitist[?] of the second half of the 18th century. Gainsborough painted more from his observations of nature than from any application of formal rules. The poetic sensibility of his paintings caused Constable to say, "On looking at them, we find tears in our eyes and know not what brings them." He himself said, "I'm sick of Portraits, and wish very much to take my viol-da-gam and walk off to some sweet village, where I can paint landskips and enjoy the fag end of life in quietness and ease." His best works, such as Portrait of Mrs. Graham; Mary and Margaret: The Painter's Daughters; William Hallett and His Wife Elizabeth, nee Stephen, known as The Morning Walk; and Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher, display the uniqueness (individuality) of his subjects. Gainsborough died of cancer.

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