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.
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.