With over sixty oil paintings and works on paper by Thomas Gainsborough, spanning his whole career, the collection at Gainsborough’s House offers a unique opportunity to see the artist’s entire oeuvre in the very special setting of his childhood home.
His achievements as a portrait painter are recorded through early head-and-shoulder portraits and outdoor conversation pieces from his Suffolk period, images of aristocratic patrons in full finery from his Bath period, and large-scale exhibition pieces produced at the height of his career as a Royal Academician in London. Figure studies of various sitters, including his daughters, demonstrate his working methods and thought processes in capturing likenesses and honing compositions.
His work in landscape – a genre for which he had a particular personal fondness – is represented by numerous studies of flora and fauna from the countryside around Sudbury. There are also many compositions inspired by the seventeenth-century Dutch and Italian traditions; sentimental renderings of agricultural landscapes populated by rural labourers; and examples of the ‘cottage door’ style for which he gained such great acclaim toward the end of his life.