Conversation in a Park
Self Portrait with his wife, Margaret Burr
Thomas Gainsborough was born on 14 May 1727, in Sudbury, Suffolk, England. He was the son of Mary Burroughs and John Gainsborough. He was baptised on 14 May 1727, at the Independent Meeting House, in Friars Street, Sudbury, Suffolk. He grew up in the Stour Valley, between Essex and Suffolk. His mother was a flower painter. His father worked as a weaver. In 1740, Gainsborough worked as an assistant to Hubert Gravelot. Thomas Gainsborough married Margaret Burr on 15 July 1746, at Dr Keith's Mayfair Chapel, in London. She was the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Beaufort. The couple settled in Hatton Garden. In 1748, he painted Cornard Wood. In 1749, they returned to Sudbury. Their daughter, Mary was born in 1750. Margaret was born in 1751. Also in 1751, they moved to Foundation Street, in Ipswich. He painted his Daughters Chasing a Butterfly, in Ipswich. In 1759, the family moved to Bath. In 1761, Gainsborough sent a portrait of Earl Nugent to the Society of Artists. In 1762, the first notice of his work appeared in the London press. Throughout the 1760s, he exhibited regularly in London. In 1768, Gainsborough was elected a foundation member of the Royal Academy. In 1769, he painted Isabella Countess of Sefton. In ca 1770, he painted The Blue Boy. In 1774, he moved to London and settled in part of Schomberg House, in Pall Mall. Soon he began to be noticed by George III, King of the United Kingdom and Hanover (1738-1820) and the Royal family. In 1777, he exhibited The Honourable Mary Graham (1757-1792), C.F. Abel, William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and Maria, Duchess of Gloucester at the Royal Academy."We are all going to Heaven, and Van Dyke is of the company." Thomas Gainsborough
"What makes the difference between man and man is real performance, and not genius or conception."In 1783, he painted The Mall in St. James' Park. After a quarrel with the Academy in 1784, about the hanging of the Three Eldest Princesses, he withdrew the pictures he had intended for the exhibition and never showed again at the Academy. According to Thomas Gainsborough; "I don't think it would be more ridiculous for a person to put his nose close to the canvas and say the colors smelt offensive than to say how rough the paint lies, for one is just as material as the other with regard to hurting the effect and drawing of a picture." He continued; "The eye is the only perspective-master needed by a landscape painter." And; "Confound the nose, there's no end to it!" Thomas Gainsborough died of cancer, on 2 August 1788, in London, England. He was buried, in Parish Church of Saint Anne, Kew, London, England.