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Joseph Gibbs

Joseph Gibbs, by Thomas Gainsborough, circa 1755 - NPG 2179 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Joseph Gibbs

by Thomas Gainsborough
oil on canvas, circa 1755
23 7/8 in. x 19 3/4 in. (606 mm x 502 mm)
Purchased, 1928
Primary Collection
NPG 2179


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Sitterback to top

  • Joseph Gibbs (1699-1788), Organist and composer. Sitter in 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), Portrait and landscape painter. Artist associated with 262 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Here Gibbs is shown composing a Sonata, with volumes of music by the Italian composers Geminiani and Corelli beside him. In the 1750s when this portrait was made Gainsborough and Joseph Gibbs were both members of the Ipswich Musical Club. Gainsborough's portraits of his musician friends are among his most sensitive, reflecting his own love of music; according to an obituary he 'thought he was not intended by nature for a painter, but a musician'. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

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