Thomas Gainsborough is one of the most appealing painters of eighteenth century art. Renowned for such elegant portraits as The Blue Boy and Countess Howe, he also pioneered a new form of landscape painting with a moody sensibility that prefigured the Romantic movement. He was a brilliant draftsman, and his art is full of inventiveness and visual delight.
In Gainsborough, part of the World of Art series, William Vaughan draws on recently discovered material to provide a fresh perspective on both the life and art of this British artist. He shows how closely Gainsborough's innovative manner can be connected to social and political developments in Britain, in particular the celebration of original genius in a time of burgeoning entrepreneurial commercialism. Above all, he demonstrates how, beneath Gainsborough's charm, there lay a bedrock of shrewd observation and pictorial intelligence that gives his work a value for all time.