‘Lives of Gainsborough’ by William Jackson, Philip Thicknesse and Sir Joshua Reynolds


One of the best loved painters in English history, Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) was also one of the most personally engaging. Bon vivant, wit, amateur and enthusiastic musician, he charmed sitters and friends alike. His ebullient, if not always reliable, personality comes to life in these two memoirs, written by two very different friends.

115 x 145 mm

144 pages with 51 pages of colour illustrations

Published by Pallas Athene

All purchases support Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, Suffolk

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Philip Thicknesse, one of the most eccentric figures of the eighteenth century was a close friend and shrewd observer of the painter whom he claimed to have discovered. William Jackson, a distinguished musician and connoisseur, also claimed to have been the first to see Gainsborough’s talent, but after falling out with the painter over his reckless lifestyle, wrote an affectionate but clear eyed memoir.


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Gainsborough's House

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, in 2019, the Gainsborough’s House Society received an investment of £10m to upgrade and ‘revive the artist’s birthplace’. On 21 November 2022, the museum re-opened to the public after a transformational refurbishment. The museum is the international centre for Thomas Gainsborough and is now the largest gallery in Suffolk.

Visitors can view the family house, the new gallery spaces, examples of Gainsborough’s work, alongside specialist exhibitions and the famed garden and Mulberry Tree dating to the early 1600s. The space also has a cafe and visitor’s shop.

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