Thomas Gainsborough

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Thomas Gainsborough. Self portrait c.1759

Thomas Gainsborough (baptised 1727-05-14; died 1788-08-02) was one of the most famous portrait and landscape painters of 18th century Britain.

Quotes[edit]

  • I wish you would recollect that Painting and Punctuality mix like Oil and Vinegar, and that Genius and regularity are uttee Enemies
    • Letter to Edward Stratford (a patron) , 1 May 1772
  • We love a genius for what he leaves and mourn him for what he takes away
    • Letter to Henry Bate 20th June 1787
  • Fools talk of imitation and copying, all is imitation
    • Letter to John Henderson 27th June 1773

Letters to William Jackson[edit]

  • Though I'm a rogue in talking upon Painting & Love I can be serious and honest upon any subject thoroughly pleasing to me.
    • 2nd September 1767 The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough ed Mary Woodall 1961
  • Many a real genius is lost in the fictitious character of the Gentleman. I am the most inconsistent, changeable being so full of fits and starts.
    • 14th September The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough ed Mary Woodall 1961
  • There is a genius (in our sense of the word) shines in all he (John Dunning) says. I begin to think there is something in the air of Devonshire that grows clever fellows I could name 4 or 5 , superior to the product of any other county of England
    • 2nd September The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough ed Mary Woodall 1961
  • I am sick of portraits and wish very much to take up my viol da Gamba and walk off to some sweet village when I can paint landskips and enjoy the fag end of life in quietness and ease.
  • I hate being confined in Harness to follow the track, whilst others ride in the wagon, under cover, stretching their legs in the straw at ease and gazing at Green trees and Blue skies.
    • 4th June 1768 The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough ed Mary Woodall 1961
  • I grow dauntless as I grow old, I believe any one that plods on in any one way, especially if that one way will bring him bread & cheese, will grow the same.
  • I must own your calculations & comparisons betwixt our different professions to be just, provided you remember that in mine a Man may do great things and starve in a garret if he does not conquer his Passions.
  • There is a branch of painting next in profit to Portrait and quite within your power without any more drawing them I'm answer for you having, which is Drapery & Landskip.
  • Whilst a Face painter is harassed to death a drapery painter sits & earns 5 or 6 hundered a year & laughs all the while
    • Undated letters to Jackson The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough ed Mary Woodall 1961

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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