Gainsborough & the Theatre

5 October 2018–20 January 2019

Exhibition Overview


Thomas Gainsborough, Mrs Siddons, 1785.

For theatre lovers, portraiture aficionados and fans of 18th century history, the Holburne Museum’s critically acclaimed exhibition, Gainsborough and the Theatre is essential viewing.

Bringing together 37 objects from public and private collections across the UK, including some of Gainsborough’s finest portraits of leading actors, managers, musicians, playwrights, designers, dancers and critics of the 1760s-80s, this exhibition explores themes of celebrity, naturalism, performance and friendship.

Following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, theatre became an increasingly popular pastime throughout London and the provinces - particularly in Bath. In 1759, Gainsborough arrived, having already garnered a reputation as a skilled portraitist, he soon found a keen clientele among Bath’s fashionable (and well-off) visitors.

(Photo © The National Gallery, London.)

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