Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Gainsborough, Thomas

Gainsborough, Thomas (1727-1788), a noted English painter, was born at Sudbury, in Suffolk. His mother had some taste in painting, and encouraged the boy, who at ten years of age had sketched almost everything about him, and at fifteen went to London to study. His energies were devoted chiefly to portrait-painting, but landscape came in for its share of attention. Having married a young woman with a little money, he settled down for a time in Suffolk, and often painted landscapes on the Orwell. In 1759 he went to Bath with his wife and daughters, and there he painted many portraits, among his sitters being Sterne, Richardson, Quin, Henderson, and Garrick. In 1774 he was in London and prospering, and exhibited portraits and landscapes. He was called to Court, and enjoyed both Court and popular favour. Among his sitters at this period were Burke, Clive, and Sir William Blackstone. As a landscapist he was a forerunner of Constable. Among his notable portraits are that of the Duchess of Devonshire, at present missing, and that of Mrs. Siddons, known to most visitors to the National Gallery, London, which contains several others of his works also, among the landscapes being A Waggon and Horses Passing a Brook.