Buy Art Prints Now
* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The beauty of Gainsborough's paintings was built on a combination of subtlety and complexity that was carried across all of his portrait and landscape artworks
Gainsborough's artistic style took time to diverge from others in the UK at that time. Initially, in the 1740s, he would follow a similar path to his fellow members of the St Martin's Lane group of painters. This collection of young artists also included Hogarth, Hayman and Highmore.
As his career progressed he would forge his own style, as did the other members of this group. He was famous for a fast application of paint and also relying on his observations by eye rather than just his technical academic training. This represents the movement towards Romanticism and the abstract artists of the 20th century.
A pure reliance on academic technique would lead to many artists appearing from a production line, so his own approach enabled Gainsborough to set himself apart. He also used lighter colours later in his career and regularly painted at night by candlelight. The art market was very competitive in England at this time, meaning the likes of Stubbs, Reynolds and Gainsborough were constantly demanding more from themselves.
The interest of Lionel de Rothschild, a prominent art collector, helped to draw attention to the artist's best work and also contributed to their rising value. Others would pick up on this and start to collect his work for themselves.
Although prefering his landscape work, portraits were a valuable source of income for Gainsborough through multiple royal commissions. This work helped to push his reputation above other members of the Royal Academy and as a result allowed his to command a certain level of influence in the organisation.
Artist Gainsborough would try to portray himself as a manic, entirely spontaneous artist, almost like an 18th century Pollock, Rothko or Picasso. In reality he was intelligent and considered, but with some flair added in for good measure. Many who met both Reynolds and Gainsborough would tend to find the latter more engaging and a star quality more apparent.
Many have considered Reynolds to be the learned, educated individual and Gainsborough quite the opposite. In reality Thomas was a follower of theatre and intellectual society in general. He also counted writers and actors amongst his closest circle of friends.
The most famous paintings from artist Gainsborough are listed below, with more information available on each on their respective pages. He took in different parts of England during his distinguished career, covering London, Suffolk and parts of the West Country. Gainsborough House has been set up in his honour and hosts some of his original artwork.
Evening Landscape Peasants and Mounted Figures
George Brydges Rodney Admiral of the White
Isaac Henrique Sequeira
James Maitland 8th Earl of Lauderdale
Johann Christian Fischer
John and Henry Trueman Villebois
John Campbell 4th Duke of Argyll
John Montagu 4th Earl of Sandwich
John Spencer 1st Earl Spencer
King George III
Landscape with a Woodcutter and Milkmaid
Landscape with Cattle
Landscape with Sandpit
Lord Hastings Governor of India
Mr and Mrs John Gravenor and their Daughters Elizabeth and Ann
Mr and Mrs William Hallett the Morning Walk
Mrs Grace Elliott
Mrs Sarah Siddons the Actress
Portrait of a Woman
Portrait of Ann Ford later Mrs Thicknesse
Portrait of Colonel John Bullock
Portrait of David Garrick
Portrait of Elizabeth Bowes
Portrait of George Spencer 2nd Earl Spencer
Portrait of George Venables Vernon 2nd Lord Vernon
Portrait of Grace Dalrymple Elliott
Portrait of James Christie
Portrait of Johann Christian Bach
Portrait of John Russell 4th Duke of Bedford
Portrait of Louisa Lady Clarges
Portrait of Mary Countess Howe
Portrait of Mary Gainsborough
Portrait of Mrs Awse
Portrait of Mrs Drummond
Portrait of Mrs John Bolton
Portrait of Sarah Kirby Née Bull and John Joshua Kirby
Portrait of the Artist's Daughter with a Cat
Portrait of the Artist's Daughters
Portrait of Molly and Peggy with Drawing Supplies
Portrait of Thomas Linley
Richard Hurd Bishop of Worcester
Richard Paul Jordell
River Landscape with Rustic Lovers
Rocky Coastal Scene
Seashore with Fishermen
Self Portrait I
Self Portrait II
Squire John Wilkinson
The Artist with his Wife and Daughter
The Artist's Wife
The Hon Frances Duncombe
The Honourable Charles Wolfran Cornwall
The Linley Sisters Mrs Sheridan and Mrs Tickell
The Mall in St James's Park
The Miniature Portrait of a Young Boy
Wooded Landscape with Cattle by a Pool and a Cottage at Evening
The Woodcutter's House
Two Shepherd Boys with Dogs Fighting
William Poyntz of Midgham and his Dog Amber