Gainsborough in London
Authors: Susan Sloman
Publisher: Modern Art Press
Dimensions: 280mm x 230mm
Pages: 412, 246 colour illustrations
It was said of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) that, "though he is a shy man he knows he is one of the first geniuses in Europe" - Philip Thicknesse, 1773
This beautiful coffee table book Gainsborough in London looks at the last phase of the painter's life. It covers a period of about fifteen years and rather than a biography, instead a collection of thematic explorations of the artist's career based on a re-examination of the paintings, drawing and prints and the unearthing of new documents.
Whilst portraiture took him to the top of his profession, landscape was always his first love, and in London he remained dedicated as ever to imaginative landscape drawing and painting. His ability to paint portraits and landscape with equal success set him apart from most English artists.
Thomas Gainsborough’s (1727–88) London years, from 1774 to 1788, were the pinnacle and conclusion of his career. They coincided with the establishment of the Royal Academy, of which Gainsborough was a founding member, and the city’s ascendance as a centre for the arts. This is a meticulously researched and readable account of how Gainsborough designed his home and studio and maintained a growing schedule of influential patrons, making a place for himself in the art world of late-18th-century London.
Susan Sloman is an independent scholar and curator.