In the first of three introductory essays, David H. Solkin writes on Gainsborough himself, placing his family portraits in the context of earlier practice – including that of the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens and British portraitists from Mary Beale to Joseph Highmore. Ann Bermingham explores Gainsborough’s portraits of his daughters, with particular reference to two finished double portraits painted seven years apart and the tragic story arising from them. Susan Sloman discusses Margaret’s role as her husband’s business manager, its effect on the family dynamic and hence the visual representation of its members.
David H. Solkin, FBA is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Gainsborough's House is in the heart of Suffolk, in Sudbury, and the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough – one of the great figures of British and World Art history, renowned not only in his advancement of portraiture to a higher level but also in being one of the founders of the British School of landscape painting.
A bricked Georgian Grade-I listed house with an intimate walled garden featuring a 400 year old Mulberry Tree, Gainsborough's House is currently undergoing an exciting new development, Reviving an Artist’s Birthplace. This is a two-year, £10.5m project to refurbish the House and build new galleries behind, to become the National Centre for Gainsborough.
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