I have to admire Gainsborough: he figured out a way to paint what he wanted.

In a world where those who could afford a painting HAD the property they could see through the window…why would they purchase a landscape?

And yet, Gainsborough LOVED to paint landscapes, so…

Why not do both? And the Gainsborough landscape portrait was born.

Most of these landscapes were fantasies, constructed in the mind of Gainsborough and through his brush. Only one is a known site you can visit today: the Double Portrait of Mrs. and Mrs. Andrews.

This tree still exists (slightly larger, of course), and you can look over this valley.

Gainsborough, according to some of his friends, would construct miniature landscapes out of little twigs, pebbles and broccoli of all things, made little fantasy worlds he could study and paint behind his commissioned portraits.

There was so much I learned when I studied Gainsborough: his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds, how he learned to draw, his habits as a painter (really, he and Reynolds could NOT have been more different!), his birth family, his own family, there was so much that I could not put in this packet, but I hope you like what is there!

Maybe I’ll have to write a “Part 2” or something…

There’s no tutor hints, since the assigned project, create a portrait on an imaginary landscape, is pretty straight forward!

Next up: Degas! Ballerinas aplenty!

C2W14 Thomas Gainsborough

Gainsborough Timeline with Acts and Facts Cards