Thomas Gainsborough(1727-1788), Portrait and landscape painter
Sitter in 8 portraits
Artist associated with 263 portraits
Landscape and portrait painter. Gainsborough worked in his native Sudbury and then Ipswich until 1759 when he moved to Bath and established a fashionable portrait practice. Settling in London in 1774, he was Joshua Reynolds's only real rival as a portrait painter. Gainsborough quarrelled with the Royal Academy over the exhibition of his pictures; he was highly-strung in personality, a lively letter writer and devoted to music. Garrick said 'his cranium is so crammed with genius of every kind that it is in danger of bursting on you like a steam engine overcharged'.
More on Gainsborough: Gainsborough's Family Album | Explore the portrait of Thomas Gainsborough by E. Ortner (NPG D2917) from all angles
Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
- All paintings by this artist on the Art UK website
- Barber, Institute of Fine Arts, Edgbaston, Midlands
- Blue plaque, 82 Pall Mall, St James's, London SW1Y 5ES
- Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby, North Yorkshire
- Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, Suffolk
- Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, Suffolk
- Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent
- Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
- Sudley House, Liverpool, Merseyside
- Thomas Gainsborough in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Waddesdon Manor-the Rothschild Collection, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
Make a donation
Support our Making History appeal and help us transform the Gallery.
A unique range of books, accessories and gifts. Every purchase supports the Gallery’s work.
Bring a familiar face home
Refresh your home gallery with a huge selection of custom art prints .
- Gainsborough's portraits
- Georgian and Regency prints
- Images of Love
- National Portrait Gallery works in Elizabeth to Victoria exhibition at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow
- Portraits featuring - Chain
- Portraits featuring - Ring
- Making music
- Georgian and Regency portraits
- National Heritage Memorial Fund