Реферат: Thomas Gainsborough

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ученица 10 «Г» класса

средней школы № 1276

Клячко Елена

учитель: Макарова Т.Г.






Москва 2006.
Contents<span Arial",«sans-serif»; mso-ansi-language:EN-US">

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ISummary……………………………………………………………………………………..3<span Times New Roman",«serif»;text-transform:none; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;font-weight:normal;mso-no-proof:yes">

ii  TOC o «1-3» h z u Childhoodand youth….....................................................................................5
a)Thefamily of the artist
b)Apprenticeship in London
c)The first essays in art
d)Marriage<span Times New Roman",«serif»; text-transform:none;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;font-weight:normal;mso-no-proof: yes">

iii Suffolk portraits…………………………………………………………………….7
a)Sudbury and Ipswich.
b)Acquaintance with Philip Thicknesse
c)“Theportrait of Mr and Mrs Andrews”
d)The painter’s attitude to his pictures<span Times New Roman",«serif»;text-transform:none; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;font-weight:normal;mso-no-proof:yes">

IV Bath and fashion… 10
a)Coming to Bath
b)The artist's personality and interests
c)Gainsborough's love for theatre
d)Portraits: «The Blue Boy»
e)The foundation of The Royal Academy. «Viscount Kilmorey»,«Lady Molyneux»<span Times New Roman",«serif»;text-transform:none;font-weight:normal;mso-no-proof: yes">

V London… 13
a)Arrival at London. New commissions
b)«Mrs Graham», «Lady Sheridan», «MrsRobinson»,«Mrs Siddons»
c)«The Morning Walk»

VI  The later landscapes… 16
a)The painter's first love for landscapes
b)"The Harvest Wagon"
c)Experiments with transparencies<span Times New Roman",«serif»;text-transform:none;mso-ansi-language: EN-US;font-weight:normal;mso-no-proof:yes">

VII  Conclusion: Thomas Gainsborough in British art17<span Times New Roman",«serif»;text-transform:none;mso-ansi-language: EN-US;font-weight:normal;mso-no-proof:yes">

VIII THE LISTOF Literature… 19

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Thomas Gainsborough is by generalconsent one of the most delightful, spontaneous and naturally gifted of allEnglish painters and draughtsmen. He was an interesting person, inconsistent,impulsive, and easily touched. The painter preferred the companionship offellow artists, musicians and actors. There was a combination of excitabilityand bohemianism on the one hand and practical good sense on the other hand inhim.

He was born in <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«1727 in» w:st=«on»>1727 in</st1:metricconverter> the small market town of <st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City>in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>. In 1740, when he was only 13, Gainsboroughset out for <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>,and lodged in the house of a silversmith. Thomas soon made acquaintance ofGravelot, an accomplished French engraver and draughtsman, who was his firstteacher.

It was in <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:place></st1:City> that Gainsboroughmet his future wife, a beautiful girl named Margaret Burr. The wedding tookplace in <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>London</st1:place></st1:City>in 1746. The couple had 2 daughters.

In 1752 Gainsborough moved from <st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City> to the seaport of <st1:place w:st=«on»>Ipswich</st1:place>.At <st1:place w:st=«on»>Ipswich</st1:place> the painter met his firstbiographer and best friend, Philip Thicknesse. Gainsborough attractedThicknesse by the originality of his works, which lay in the fact that heunconsciously flouted the fashions of the day and found his inspiration in thework of the Dutch realistic painters. His 1st landscapes were the “View of the Charterhouse”, the “Cornard Wood”, “Landguard Fort” etc (about 1752).

Gainsboroughhad to paint portraits to make a living. His portraits show a keenunderstanding of human nature as well as of wild nature. He did not uselandscape as a background to set off the figures, but as an integral part ofthe theme. Suffolk portraits are “Mr andMrs Andrews”, “The artist, his wifeand child», “Scheming Jack, “Mr Kirby”,“Mrs Kirby”, “Samuel Kilderbee”(about1751 — 1752) etc.

Philip Thicknesseoffered Gainsborough to try his fortune in <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:place></st1:City>, a popular resort (1759). It was in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>that Gainsborough painted the best known of his portraits, the famous “Blue Boy” (1770).

Gainsborough who was ambitious, went to <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>, the center of theart life. The most famous pictures of his <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>period are “Mrs Graham”, “Mrs Robinson”, “Mrs Siddons”(1785), “The Morning Walk” (1786).

However, Gainsborough’sfirst love was for landscape. The best-known of his landscapes are “The Grand Landscape”, “Harvest Wagon”, “Landscape with cattle” etc.

The painter died on August 2, 1788.As Sir Joshua Reynolds, the President of the <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Royal</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>Academy</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>,said in his obituary, the name of Gainsborough will be transmitted toposterity, in the history of the Art among the most famous English painters.

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Thomas Gainsborough is by generalconsent one of the most delightful, spontaneous and naturally gifted of allEnglish painters and draughtsmen.

Gainsborough’slifetime spanned an age of profound change in British painting and in thepublic’s attitude towards British artists. He was born in 1727, when Hogarthwas painting his first genre scenes and conversation pieces, and died in 1788,when Boydell’s commissions for the Shakespeare Gallery in <st1:place w:st=«on»>Pall Mall</st1:place> were giving a new impetus to British History painting. Gainsboroughhad an eye as sharp as Rembrandt’s, but he had more than a just perceptive eye;he possessed an extraordinary capacity to translate what he observed into themedium of oil paint which puts him firmly, along with Rembrandt, and withartists such as Velazquez, Manet, Renoir and Picasso, into the top flight of“born painters”.

Childhood and Youth

ThomasGainsborough was born in 1727 and baptized on 14th May of that yearat the Independent Meeting House in Friar’s Lane in the small market town of <st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City> in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>.Edward III had selected <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City></st1:place>as one of the places in which to settle Flemish weavers, and like so many EastAnglian towns its prosperity was built on the proceeds of the cloth trade withwhich the Gainsborough family was connected for several generations.

The painters’father, John Gainsborough, was one of the last of the family to engage in themanufacture of woollen goods; but he is said to have discovered the secret ofwoollen shroud making in <st1:City w:st=«on»>Coventry</st1:City>, and to haveintroduced it into <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City></st1:place>,where, for a time, he enjoyed a monopoly of the trade. However, he does notseem to have been very successful in the conduct of his affairs, and hisproperty at the time of his death in 1748 was renounced by his wife andchildren in favour of a creditor. He was generous to a fault and possessed agreat sense of humour, both of which were richly inherited by his son.

Gainsborough’smother was the sister of the Reverend Humphrey Burroughs, the headmaster of theancient Grammar School at <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City></st1:place>,which Thomas and his brothers attended. Thomas had 4 brothers and 4 sisters.

The eldest,John, nicknamed “Scheming Jack”, was an ingenious, if somewhat purposelessinventor, and on one occasion he attempted to fly from the roof of asummerhouse with a pair of wings of his own manufacture, but landed in theditch, profoundly humiliated, but fortunately unhurt. Humphrey, anotherbrother, was a Nonconformist clergyman to whom Thomas was always much attached;like John, he took a great interest in mechanics and engineering, but had morecapacity in applying his ideas. He was awarded a premium by the society of Artsfor a mill plough and a hive mill.

When JohnConstable visited <st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City> many years after Gainsboroughwas working there, he said, “It is a delightful country for a painter, I fancy,I see Gainsborough in every hedge and hollow tree,” and Gainsborough often saidin later life that <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>had made him a painter.

In 1740, whenhe was only 13, Gainsborough set out for <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>,and lodged in the house of a silversmith. Through the good offices of thesilversmith, Gainsborough made acquaintance of the Frenchman, Gravelot.Gravelot was in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region></st1:place>for a number of years, and is chiefly remembered for his very charmingvignettes and designs for book illustrations. He was both an accomplishedengraver and a sensitive and delicate draughtsman and, working with him, Gainsboroughdid not only acquire skill in the use of the engrave and etching needle, butalso something of that sense of style and easy refinement associated with theFrench school. Gravelot had considerable standing among the artists of the day andwas very friendly with Hogarth. He was, like Hogarth, a caricaturist and mockedsomewhat defiantly the artistic shibboleths of the time. In the small artisticcircle in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>,Gainsborough no doubt met Hogarth, whose independent attitude would be likelyto appeal to him, and whose fresh approach to the problems of painting had muchinfluence on Gainsborough’s work.

Whilst helived in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>,Gainsborough kept himself by painting small portraits and landscapes and bymaking drawings for the engravers. He also supplemented his resources by makingmodels. He made his 1st essays in art by modellingfigures ofcows, horses and dogs, in which he attained great excellence. There is a castin the plaster shops of an old horse that he modelled which has peculiarmerits. In later life Gainsborough often amused himself by modelling,and on one occasion after a concert at Bath, he was so charmed by Miss Linley’svoice that he sent his servant for a bit of clay with which he made andcoloured her head. Sometimes he used to wax candles on the table to makeimpromptu models.

Gainsborough’slove of landscape painting would naturally attract him to <st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City>,and he probably paid many visits to <st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City>while he was studying in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>.It is possible that it was in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>that Gainsborough met his future wife, a beautiful girl named Margaret Burr.The wedding took place in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>in 1746 at Dr Keith’s Mayfair Chapel which was used for the celebration ofclandestine marriages. Evidently, the young couple had not been able to securethe approval of their elders, and resorted to a runaway affair.

<st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>portraits

It is notknown exactly when Gainsborough returned to <st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City>to live, but he probably spent a good deal of time at <st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City>even before he finally gave up his rooms in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>. Gainsborough’s 2 daughters, Mary andMargaret, were both born in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City></st1:place>,one in 1748 and the other 1752, and judging from the number of portraits ofthem as children, their father often prevailed upon them to pose for him. Gainsboroughhad an inkling that the girls were ill fitted for a normal society life, andmight not easily find suitable husbands. His foreboding proved all true.

It wasprobably about 1752 that Gainsborough moved from <st1:City w:st=«on»>Sudbury</st1:City>to the seaport of Ipswich where he lived until he went to <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place> in 1759. At <st1:place w:st=«on»>Ipswich</st1:place>the painter met his first biographer, Philip Thicknesse. According to his ownstory, Thicknesse was walking with in his pretty town garden and perceived amelancholy faced country man with his arms together leaning over a garden wall.Thicknesse stepped forward with intention to speak to the person and did notperceive until he was close up that it was a wooden man painted on a shapedboard. He then learnt the address of the painter.

Gainsboroughattracted Thicknesse by the originality of his works. His originality lay inthe fact that he unconsciously flouted the fashions of the day and found hisinspiration in the work of the Dutch realistic painters. In the XVIII century realisticlandscapes were called “those drudging mimics of nature’s most uncomelycoarseness”. The 1st landscapes were the “View of the Charterhouse”,the “Cornard Wood”, “Landguard Fort” etc.

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image004.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1026">Gainsboroughachieved his 1st professional success as a landscape painter, butthis line of business was not profitable at the time, and he had to paintportraits to make a living. Some of the most interesting of the <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place> pictures are thesmall portraits in landscape settings, in which he could combine his gifts inboth branches of his art. These portraits are in a sense “conversation pieces”,which were then so popular in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region></st1:place>,but Gainsborough succeeded in giving a special character to that convention.His portraits, although sometimes rather stiff, show a keen understanding ofhuman nature as well as of wild nature, linked with a rare appreciation of thetrue relation of the one to the other. He did not use landscape as a backgroundto set off the figures, but as an integral part of the theme.

The mostsuccessful of these pictures is undoubtedly the portrait of “Mr and MrsAndrews” which is still in the possession of the Andrews family. They are notsitting on an elegant terrace, in a well-groomed landscape, but on an ordinarygarden seat looking at their crops, as if Gainsborough caught them unaware ofhis presence when they were resting during a stroll round their property. MrAndrews has just shot a bird which Mrs Andrews is carrying with no town-bredqualms although she is charmingly dressed in her best frock for the painting.The figures are so naturally posed that they seem part of the landscape, whichis painted with a degree of realism unprecedented at the time. It is much morebrilliant in colour than any other of the <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>portraits and the trees and fields are attuned to the gay blue gown Mrs Andrewsis wearing. The whole conception in its simplicity and realism is more nearlyrelated to the plein air painting ofthe XIX century than to the mannered conversation piece.

In most ofthe other early portrait groups, the landscape gives pride of place to thefigures, but is always a fitting and thoughtful accompaniment to them. Thedelightful portrait of “The artist, hiswife and child” was probably painted about 1751. The landscape in thispicture is less clearly defined than in theAndrews, but the rather ethereal blue-green trees fit the mood of thepicture and accord with the dreamy expression on the painter’s face.

Among otherearly portraits are that of the painter’s brother “Scheming Jack,
“Mr Kirby”, “Mrs Kirby”, “SamuelKilderbee”.

One of theloveliest of the later <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>portraits is “The Painter’s DaughtersChasing a Butterfly”, surely one of the most beautiful of all pictures ofchildren, so tender in its feeling for the delicate forms and yet so solidlyconceived as a pictorial design.

Gainsborough’sletters to his friends throw some light on his attitude to his craft. In laterlife Gainsborough was much concerned about the hanging of his pictures. It wasparticularly important to Gainsborough that his pictures should be hung in aproper light since he relied for his effects for delicate drawing and livelyhandling of the paint rather than on striking effects of colour or emphaticchiaroscuro.

In the <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place> pictures Gainsboroughhad not yet fully enough developed his manner, but “the odd scratches andmarks” were beginning to make their appearance. They are evident in thetreatment of the drapery, the painting of the hair and in other details. Forthe most part Gainsborough’s sitters seem to have been also his friends. Nodoubt Gainsborough’s early study of landscape influenced his vision as aportrait painter, he saw a head, as he saw a tree, enveloped in light, and hewas profoundly interested in the delicate gradations of tones.

<st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>and fashion

AlthoughGainsborough evidently had quite a flourishing trade in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>, he admitted that he was afraid toput people off when they were in a mood to sit, and the potential localclientele must have been limited. Philip Thicknesse, who was accustomed towinter in <st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City>, pressed Gainsborough to abandonthe quiet <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:City></st1:place>town and to try his fortune in the West country. Naturally, <st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City>was the centre of the art world, but there was in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region>no town than <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>which provided such opportunities for the portrait painter. The city was afavourite resort of pleasure seekers from all parts of <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region></st1:place> and of all ranks of society.

On hisarrival at <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>,Gainsborough took a house about ¾ of a mile in the <st1:Street w:st=«on»><st1:address w:st=«on»>Lansdowne Road</st1:address></st1:Street>. <st1:Street w:st=«on»><st1:address w:st=«on»>Lansdowne Road</st1:address></st1:Street> leads up a hill to theopen country and would naturally have attracted Gainsborough the landscapepainter, who although he could never persuade himself to renounce the pleasuresof town, always sighed for the country. What did he look like physically?Portraits leave a clear impression of his personality; the sharp turn of thehead, the quivering nostrils, the half-parted lips, the searching eyes, allthese add up to an image of somebody vibrantly alive — alert, observant,excitable, highly strung. He was inconsistent, impulsive, and, of course,easily touched. However, his constitution and nervous system were by no meansrobust. He thought and acted like a gentleman and was not irreligious, althoughthere was a combination of excitability and bohemianism on the one hand andpractical good sense on the other hand in him.

Gainsboroughwas impatient and found it hard to contain himself when he was in pursuit ofsome new material or pigment he had found effective. Gainsborough caredpassionately for the quality of his materials, and for the excellence oftechnique.

A visit toGainsborough’s studio soon became the mode. It was the custom in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place> to allow visitingpainters to place specimens of their work in the Rump Room with their scale ofcharges. Gainsborough on his arrival followed the usual practice and his studioquickly attracted great interest. He became so popular that a contemporary witsaid, “Fortune seemed to take up her abode with him; her house becameGainsborough”.

The paintermust have known most of the distinguished and elegant folk who visited <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>, but he never enjoyedpolite society and infinitely preferred the companionship of fellow artists,musicians and actors. He was not only “passionately fond of music”, but himselfperformed on several instruments — his friends said he “was too conspicuous tostudy music scientifically, but his ear was good and his natural taste wasrefined… he always played to his feelings”.

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image006.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1029">Thestage had an irresistible appeal for Gainsborough who was on excellent termswith the manager of the Bath Theatre and had access to a box on all occasions.He met many of the actors who visited <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>,including the great Garrick, of whose character and ability he had the veryhighest opinion. The artists became lifelong friends; both had a very nicesense of humour, and it is amusing to read of them visiting Mr Christie’s roomsin <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>, whenthe auctioneer is said to have remarked that the presence of those two withtheir lovely banter greatly added to the interests in his sales.

It was in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place> that Gainsborough paintedthe best known of his portraits, the famous “TheBlue Boy” (1770). It seems that the model was Jonathan Buttall. The boy’sfather, an ironmonger in the <st1:Street w:st=«on»><st1:address w:st=«on»>Greek Street</st1:address></st1:Street>, was an intimate friend of Gainsborough andone of the few people invited to be present at his burial.
Mr Buttall was a man of means and taste, and frequently entertained artists andmusicians at his home. It was not a commissioned work at all: X-rays haverevealed the beginnings of the portrait of an older man under the paintsurface, and, thus the fact that the “TheBlue Boy” was painted on a discarded canvas. The picture was clearly donefor Gainsborough’s own pleasure.

The paintingof the blue suit is superb and surely justifies Thicknesse’s contention that “MrGainsborough not only paints the face, but finishes with his own hands everypart of the drapery; this, however trifling a matter it may appear to some, isof great importance to the picture as it is fatigue and labour to the artist.”

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image008.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1031">Somevery fine portraits of men were painted by Gainsborough in the late 60’s. Thatof “Viscount Kilmorey” is now in theNational Gallery. Gainsborough has seized upon an easy slouching attitude whichone feels the sitter would naturally have adopted. The paint is applied inthose broken direct touches so characteristic of the later work and is moreakin to the workmanship of Manet or Goya than to any contemporary XVIII centurypainter. The subtle play of movement around the mouth is particularlycharacteristic, whilst the vigorous treatment of the tree trunk is an admirablefoil to the delicate modellingof the head.

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image010.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1028">Anevent of the first importance to the artistic world occurred in <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«1768 in» w:st=«on»>1768 in</st1:metricconverter> the foundation ofthe <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Royal</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>Academy</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. Gainsborough sent to the firstexhibition a portrait of Lady Molyneux,which was one of Gainsborough’s most successful works of the period. The blacklace scarf gracefully draped over her shoulders, shows off the beautiful handsof great advantage and emphasizes the delicacy of the tones of thecream-coloured satin. The simple compact design and the sureness of the drawinggive the picture a strength and depth which are enhanced by the very delicacyof treatment.

However,Gainsborough soon quarreled with the authorities of the <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Royal</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>Academy</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>and sent no pictures to the exhibitions until 1777.

Beforehe left <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>,Gainsborough had explored that exquisitely subtle range of tones which he wasto develop so effectively in the symphonies of pearly colour which distinguishthe best of his later portraits. He had also evolved his beautiful brushwork,which makes even his duller portraits a delight to painters studying themysteries of their craft; his power of invention may have weakened when hebecame a fashionable portrait painter, but is power of expressive handlingincreased throughout his life.

<st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>

Gainsborough who was ambitious, was naturally anxiousto go to <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>and put his work to the test of competition with Sir Joshua Reynolds on his ownground.

Gainsborough arrived in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place> in the early summer of 1774. Thefamily moved into the western wing at Schomberg House in <st1:place w:st=«on»>Pall Mall</st1:place>. The house, which was formerly the property of the Dukes ofSchomberg, was then owned by the painter, Astley. He lived in the centralportion and let the eastern part to a notorious charlatan, Dr Graham, whoestablished there his <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>Temple</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Health</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>. With his acutesense of humour, Gainsborough must have had considerable amusement from thethrongs of visitors attending the lectures next door.

His many friends in the musical and theatrical worldwelcomed Gainsborough with open arms, and one of his first activities in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place> was to assist inthe decoration of the new music room.

Gainsborough achieved sufficient fame at <st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City> to be elected to the Council of the <st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Royal</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>Academy</st1:PlaceType>almost immediately he arrived in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>,although he characteristically refused to take any part in the proceedings ofthat august body. In spite of his neglect of the <st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Royal</st1:PlaceName><st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>Academy</st1:PlaceType>, Gainsborough evidentlyacquired considerable business within a short time of his arrival in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place>.

It was in 1775 that Gainsborough first met theReverend Henry Bate, afterwards Sir Henry Bate Dudley, who later became hisconstant friend and companion. Bate, the son of the country clergyman, himselftook orders before embarking on his career as a newspaper magnate. He helped tofound the “Morning Post”, of whichpaper he was editor until he left it in order to establish the “Morning Herald”. Bate was a passionateadmirer of Gainsborough’s painting and he lost no opportunity of bringing it tothe notice of the public.

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image012.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1032">In1777 Gainsborough again exhibited at the Academy. When the exhibition openedtwo of Gainsborough’s most distinguished pictures were on view, the portrait ofMrs Graham and the fine landscape, “The Watering Place”.

Lady Graham seems to have been something of a paragon,since she was not only elegant and accomplished but a more than an ordinarilycompetent housewife. Her husband adored her, and when she died young, in thesouth of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>France</st1:country-region>, went off toseek his fortune in the wars, and could never bear to look at the portrait,which he sent to the warehouse in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Scotland</st1:country-region></st1:place>, where it remained until1859, when it was bequeathed to the National Gallery of Scotland. Gainsboroughwas evidently anxious to make a success of portrait, and took a considerabletime in working out his idea.

A good likeness of Mr Christie, the auctioneer, whowas an intimate friend of the painter, was also exhibited this year. His roomswere close to Gainsborough’s house, and Gainsborough often dropped in with Garrickin order to examine the pictures on view for sale. Gainsborough was muchinterested in the works of the old masters and bought a number of pictures. Aninteresting sidelight on Gainsborough’s judgement of pictureswas shown when in 1787, he was called upon to give evidence in the case ofselling a false Poussin. Gainsborough said that although he was usually charmedwith Poussin’s work, the picture in question was in his view deficient inharmony, taste, ease and elegance, and that it produced him no emotion. When hewas asked whether something more than a bare inspection by the eye wasnecessary for a judge of pictures, Gainsborough said he conceived “the <img src="/cache/referats/26332/image014.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1033">eyeof a painter to be equal to the tongue of the lawyer”.

One of Gainsborough’s best-known portraits was that ofMrs Robinson, known as “Perdita”, because it was when playing that character in“A Winter’s Tale” that she firstattracted the notice of the Prince of Wales. The beautiful young actress was afitting subject for Gainsborough’ brush and shows him in his most poetic vein.She is sitting on a bank dressed in a white muslin frock with a little whitedog by her side and holds in her hand a miniature of the Prince of Wales. Thesymphony of white and grey-green is only relieved by the blue sash and thehighly coloured complexion of the actress.

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image016.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1034">In1785 Mrs Siddons, an actress, sat to Gainsborough for the well-known portraitin the National Gallery. Though the painter lavished his painterly skill on thesilks and satins and furs of Mrs Siddons’s dress, attention is firmlyconcentrated on the beautiful and delicately modelled head, which is theprincipal light in the picture and stands out against the broad red curtainthat closes the background.

Another distinguished portrait of the same year isthat of Mrs Sheridan, where the flimsy draperies seem to be as much alive withmovement as the landscape background is tenderly felt. Gainsborough had such agrasp of form and rhythm that he did not have to rely on vividcolour contrasts in order to emphasize the shapes and hold his compositiontogether, but insisted, rather, on the general atmospheric effect, which isconveyed by the subtle and sensitive brushwork.

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image018.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1036">The Morning Walk,a portrait of Squire Hallet and his wife, was painted in 1786, and gaveGainsborough’s talents full scope. In the design he combined dignity with informalityin a characteristically English way; the brushwork gives the illusion of softbreezes blowing through the trees, and the linear rhythms and colour harmoniesare blended in a perfect symphony. Gainsborough summed up with extraordinarybrilliance and sympathy the aristocratic life of the XVIII century, itselegance, refinement and confidence; and although it is a picture of aparticular age it has the enduring qualities of all great art.

The later landscapes

Gainsborough’sfirst love was for landscape, but he always considered his chief business to bein the “face way”, and he did not allow his fancy to interfere unduly with histrade in portraiture, which increased so rapidly after his move to <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Bath</st1:City></st1:place>. However,Gainsborough evidently spent a good deal of time in painting landscapes. Themost famous of his landscapes painted before he moved to <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place> are “The Grand Landscape”, “HarvestWagon”, “Landscape with cattle”etc.

<img src="/cache/referats/26332/image020.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1038">The“Harvest Wagon” was exhibited at theRoyal academy in 1771. The picture has warm colouringwith subtlecombination of autumn tints and delicate pastel shades, and peasants seemactive, lively people. The picture is painted very thinly, and the lovelyfigure of the boy leading the horses is hardly more than outlined with thebrush with all the vigourof a pen and ink sketch. In the same waythe form and movement of the horses is conveyed with a few infinitely tellinglines. Gainsborough has immortalized the simple scene conveying its essentialdignity.

After Gainsborough moved to <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>London</st1:City></st1:place> he still found timefor landscapes. “Watering Place”, “Mountain Landscape” were painted at thetime.

Gainsborough used some of hissketches of mountain scenery for the little show box which he made in order toshow transparencies — pictures painted on glass and lighted from behind withcandles in order to give moonlight effect. A contemporary remarked thatGainsborough’s transparencies of land and sea were so natural that one steppedback for fear of being splashed.

In the spring of 1788 Gainsborough wentto Westminster Hall to hear our speeches of his friends Sheridan and Burke andsitting with his back to the window caught a severe chill. A few weeks later,the swelling in his neck increased and he died on August 2, 1788.


Gainsborough, like Constable, feltdeeply the romance of the ordinary happenings of the countryside, but he wasborn in the age of Reason, when balanced composition and style counted for morethan atmospheric effects. He was always torn between his natural desire toplease and his instinct as an artist. He loved <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region>and English country as few have done before or since, and, at a time when <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region> had hardly been discovered as a fieldfor landscape painters, Gainsborough was painting the fields and lanes of <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Suffolk</st1:place></st1:City>, investing thesesimple scenes with poetry and romance. At his death, this modest and lovableman was the subject of one of the most thoughtful and beautifully writtenobituaries accorded to an English painter. Such was the generous tribute of hisgreat rival as a portraitist, Sir Joshua Reynolds. “If ever this nation shouldproduce genius sufficient to acquire to us the honourable distinction of an <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>English</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>School</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, the name of Gainsborough will betransmitted to posterity, in the history of the Art among the very first ofthat rising name.”

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