Gainsborough's Family Album

23 February–9 June 2019

Exhibition Overview

Gainsborough.jpg

Thomas Gainsborough, Mary and Margaret Gainsborough, the Artist's Daughters, Playing with a Cat, ca. 1760–61. Oil on canvas, 75.6 × 62.9 cm.The National Gallery, London. Bought, 1923. © The National Gallery, London

Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788) rose to become one of the most fashionable artists of eighteenth-century Britain, relying on commissioned portraits of royalty and aristocrats to make his living as a painter of both artistic and social ambition. Even as he professed to dislike portraits, and declared a preference for painting landscapes of the still-unspoiled English countryside, Gainsborough created images of his family more than any other artist before him. In turning to his family—his wife, father, sisters, even servants and pets, but most importantly his daughters as they grew—Gainsborough left a legacy that is both poignant and modern for its time. Gathering nearly fifty such images for the first time in history, Gainsborough’s Family Album offers insights into the artist’s family life and sometimes-complicated personality but also into wider questions of domesticity, marriage, parenthood, and family values at the birth of the modern age. As it does so, it reveals a preoccupation that continues in the hands of other artists to this day, a legacy that will be explored in a companion installation.

Read More

Similar Exhibitions

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

By continuing to use our Site, you consent to our use of cookies and to the practices described in our updated Privacy Policy.

Close