English painter and draftsman, Thomas Gainsborough was born in 1727 in Sudbury, Suffolk. From an early age he was interested in art and the beauties of the English countryside. When he was fifteen, he was sent to London where he studied drawing and engraving under Gravelot He also attended St. Martinis Lane Academy.
Gainsborough married and established himself as a popular local painter in the town where he was born, before moving to Ipswich. In 1760 he moved to Bath and became more fashionable and famous. He soon found his artistic skills in high demand among the upper echelon of society. In 1768 he moved to London where he was elected as one of the first members of the Royal Academy of Arts. He exhibited regularly at the Academy until 1784 hwen he retired after a disagreement over the hanging of his works at an exhibition.
Gainsborough’s early works show the influence of French engraving and Dutch landscape painting. In Bath, his change of portrait style was a result of his close study of the work of van Dyck. Gainsborough died from cancer in 1788 and was buried in Kew.