Tribute to Thomas Gainsborough

English painter Thomas Gainsborough was christened on ths date 14 May in 1727. He s best remembered as an English portrait and landscape painter. He was born the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver in Suffolk, and, in 1740, left home to study art in London with Hubert Gravelot, Francis Hayman, and William Hogarth. In 1746, he married Margaret Burr, and the couple became the parents of two daughters. He moved to Bath in 1759 where fashionable society patronised him, and he began exhibiting in London.In 1769, he became a founding member of the Royal Academy, but his relationship with the organisation was thorny and he sometimes withdrew his work from exhibition. Gainsborough moved to London in 1774, and painted portraits of the King and Queen, but the King was obliged to name as royal painter Gainsborough’s rival Joshua Reynolds. In his last years, Gainsborough painted relatively simple landscapes and is credited (with Richard Wilson) as the originator of the 18th century British landscape school.Gainsborough sadly passed away from the effects of cancer in 1788 and is interred at St. Anne’s Church, Kew, Surrey. However he has left the world with some wonderful paintings most of which are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits. There have also been many films based on his life and Cecil Kellaway portrayed him in the 1945 film Kitty.

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