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Thomas Gainsborough

1 of 8 portraits of Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough, by Thomas Gainsborough, circa 1759 -NPG 4446 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Gainsborough

by Thomas Gainsborough
circa 1759
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
NPG 4446

This portraitback to top

Apparently painted in Suffolk, just prior to Gainsborough’s move to Bath in 1760. Gainsborough painted a half length of his wife at much the same time (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin; 2200), [1] but they face the same way and do not appear to be pendants.

Footnotesback to top

1) E. K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, 1958, no.297; exhibited Gainsborough’s Family, Sudbury, 1988, no.14.

Referenceback to top

Borenius 1921
T. Borenius, Northwick Catalogue, 1921, no.284.

Hayes 2001
J. Hayes ed., Gainsborough Letters, 2001, p 175.

Kerslake 1966
J. Kerslake, Connoisseur, CLXI, 1966, pp 160-61.

Northwick Catalogue, 1864, no.126.

Waterhouse 1953
E. K. Waterhouse, ‘Preliminary Check List of Portraits by Thomas Gainsborough’, Wal. Soc., XXXIII, 1953, p 45.

Waterhouse 1958
E. K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, 1958, no.291.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue-grey eyes, chestnut hair, brown coat with gold buttons, black neckcloth and white shirt. The waistcoat buttons do up the opposite way to the coat, as was usual out of London.1

1 Comment by Aileen Ribeiro on file.

Provenanceback to top

Mrs Sophia Lane (the artist’s niece); her son Richard Lane; his sale, Christie’s, 26 February 1831, lot 51, bought in; bought from Dunsford by 2nd Baron Northwick 1832; by descent at Northwick Park to Capt. E. G. Spencer Churchill; purchased from the Spencer Churchill Estate by the Government through the Land Fund and allocated to the NPG 1965.

Exhibitionsback to top

Pictures lent by owners resident in the Country, Gloucester, 1934 (21); Gainsborough, 45 Park Lane, London, 1936 (4); Gainsborough, Tate Gallery, 1953 (16); Sudbury's Heritage, Sudbury; 1975; Gainsborough's Family, Sudbury, 1988 (12); The Harvest Waggon, Birmingham, 1995 (4); Gainsborough, Ferrara, 1998 (7); Gainsborough, Tate Gallery, Washington, Boston, Mass., 2002-03 (26).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for Thomas Gainsborough


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