Definitions for gainsborough, thomas

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  1. Gainsborough, Thomas

    one of England's greatest artists in portrait and landscape painting, born at Sudbury, Suffolk; he early displayed a talent for drawing, and at 14 was sent to London to study art; when 19 he started as a portrait-painter at Ipswich, having by this time married Margaret Burr, a young lady with £200 a year; patronised by Sir Philip Thicknesse, he removed in 1760 to Bath, where he rose into high favour, and in 1774 he sought a wider field in London; he shared the honours of painting portraits with Reynolds and of landscape with Wilson; his portraits have more of grace, if less of genius, than Reynolds, while his landscapes inaugurated a freer and more genial manner of dealing with nature, while as a colourist Ruskin declares him the greatest since Rubens; among his most famous pictures are portraits of Mrs. Siddons, the Duchess of Devonshire, and the Hon. Mrs. Graham, "Shepherd Boy in the Shower," "The Seashore," &c. (1727-1788).

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