Английский (топики/темы): Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough was one of the most famous portrait and landscape painters of 18th century Britain. The poetic sensibility of his paintings caused Constable to say, 'On looking at them, we find tears in our eyes and know not what brings them.'
Gainsborough was born in 1727 in Sudbury, England. His father was a schoolteacher. At the age of fourteen he impressed his father with his pencilling skills so that he let him go to London to study art in 1740. In London he became associated with William Hogarth and his school. In the 1740s, Gainsborough married Margaret Burr. His work, mainly landscape paintings, was not selling very well. He returned to Sudbury in 1748—1749 and concentrated on the painting of portraits.
In 1759, Gainsborough and his family moved to Bath. There he studied portraits of Van Dyck and was able to get high society clients. In 1769 he began to send his works to the Royal Academy's annual exhibitions. He selected portraits of known or notorious clients to attract attention. Exhibitions helped him to gain a national reputation and he was invited to become one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1769.
In 1774, Gainsborough and his family moved to London He again exhibited his paintings in the Royal Academy, with portraits of contemporary celebrities, including the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. These exhibitions continued for the next six years. In 1780, he painted the portraits of King George III and his queen and later received many royal commissions and became the favourite painter of the Royal Family.
In his later years, he often painted landscapes and was one of the originators of the eighteenth-century British landscape school, and one of the dominant British portraitists of the second half of the 18th century. Gainsborough painted more from his observations of nature than using formal rules. He said, Tm sick of portraits, and wish very much to ... walk off to some sweet village, where I can paint landscapes and enjoy the fag end of life in quietness and ease.'
His best works, such as Portrait of Mrs. Graham; Mary and Margaret: The Painter's Daughters; William Hallett and His Wife Elizabeth, and Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher, display the individuality of his subjects.
Gainsborough died of cancer on 2 August 1788 in his 62nd year.
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