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Gainsborough and the Theatre

Hugh Belsey Susan Sloman

112 pages
I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd
Based on new research this fascinating book draws together a group of works from public and private collections to examine, for the first time, the relationship that Thomas Gainsborough (1727–88) had with the theatrical world and the most celebrated stage artists of his day, such as James Quinn, David Garrick and Sarah Siddons. Gainsborough painted notable portraits of these and twenty others, including dramatists, dancers and composers. This publication firmly establishes the artist's place within the theatrical worlds of Bath and London and will show why the art of ballet, and in particular Gainsborough's sitters, rose to prominence in 1780 and examines parallels between Gainsborough's much admired painterly naturalism and the theatrical naturalism of Garrick and Siddons with whom he had personal friendships.
Author Bio
Hugh Belsey formed a collection of the artist’s work at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury much of which was published in Gainsborough at Gainsborough’s House (2002). During his time at the museum he organised many exhibitions most notably Gainsborough’s Family (1988) and, with Felicity Owen, From Gainsborough to Constable (1991). Susan Sloman is an independent researcher and writer. Since her first article on Gainsborough in 1992 she has contributed new research on the painter in the Burlington Magazine and published Gainsborough in Bath (2002) and Gainsborough’s Landscapes (2011) and has contributed to both Sensation and Sensibility (ed. Ann Bermingham, 2005) and Gainsborough’s Family (ed. David Solkin, 2018).