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Thomas Gainsborough

Sudbury 1727 - 1788 London
Price range
250,000 – 3,000,000 USD +
The portraitist Thomas Gainsborough was the chief rival of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–92), doyen of English painting in the late eighteenth century, but unlike Reynolds he also excelled at landscape.

Gainsborough’s mature portraits follow Van Dyck in their stylish elegance but like his landscapes are executed in a much looser more ethereal technique which descends from French painting and the work of Watteau (1684–1721) and his successors. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Gainsborough’s popularity among collectors rose through acquisitions by the Rothschilds and the new American plutocracy.

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Selected artworks

Top 3 auction prices

5,753,000 $
10,267,655 $
10,515,120 $
Books on Thomas Gainsborough

Hugh Belsey, Thomas Gainsborough: the Portraits, Fancy Pictures and Copies After Old Masters, New Haven, 2019.

Christoph Martin Vogtherr and Katherina Hoins, ed., Thomas Gainsborough: the Modern Landscape, exh. cat., Hamburg, 2018.

John Hayes, Gainsborough: Paintings and Drawings, London, 1975.

Mary Woodall, ed., The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough, Bradford, 1963.

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