Thomas Gainsborough was an English draughtsman, printmaker, as well as a portrait and landscape painter. His artwork is most noteworthy for the way he merged his portraits with landscape painting, which was unique at the time.
Thomas Gainsborough was born in the city of Sudbury, in 1727 , county of Suffolk, England. His father was a weaver and made woolen goods. One of his brothers, Humphrey Gainsborough, was a notable inventor.
His abilities were noticed at a very young age. His father was impressed by his painting and drawing skills, and by the age of 10, he already accomplished several paintings, including a self-portrait. With only 13 years old, his parents allowed him to leave home and go to London, where he became the apprentice of the engraver Hubert Gravelot and also associated with William Hogarth’s school.
Gainsborough married with one of the Duke of Beaufort’s illegitimate daughter, Margaret Burr, in 1746, the Duke gave them an annuity. His landscapes were not selling very well, which made him move back to Sudbury and focus on portraits, he later moved to Ipswich, where his commissions increased, they were mostly for local squire and merchants.
Around 1759, Gainsborough moved with his family to the city of Bath, where he studied van Dyck’s portraits and eventually attracted a better-stood clientele. By 1761 he was sending paintings to the Society of Arts. By 1769, to the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy, to attract attention, he only selected portraits of notorious or well-known personalities. The period that he spent at the Academy was quite turbulent, and he left the institution in 1773.
The artist would begin to exhibit again at the Academy in 1777. He showed several portraits, including some of the distinguished contemporary celebrities such ad the Duchess and Duke of Cumberland. He exhibited at the Academy for the following six years.
During the 1770s, the artist began to develop the style that was arguably the pinnacle of his career and made his artwork quite distinguished from the conventional. In said portraits, Gainsborough would integrate the sitter to the often landscape background, rather than a neutral, bland background. He depicted several prominent figures such as the Duchess of Devonshire, Johnathan Buttal, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, and Johan Christian Bach, son of Johan Sebastian Bach.