Life of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.


    • Fulcher, George Williams
    • Fulcher, Edmund Syer


Life of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.

George Williams Fulcher ; edited by Edmund Syer Fulcher

(Cambridge library collection, . Art and architecture)

Cambridge University Press, 2017

  • : pbk

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Originally published: London : Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1856

"This edition first published 1856. This digitally printed version 2017" -- T.p. verso



Born in Sudbury, Suffolk, in 1727, Thomas Gainsborough was perhaps the best-known portrait painter of the eighteenth century. This 1856 work by George Williams Fulcher (1795-1855), bookseller and poet, also of Sudbury, was seen through the press by his son after his sudden death, and was, surprisingly, the first biography of the painter. Educated at the local grammar school, Gainsborough moved to London in about 1740, and received some artistic training there, but returned, a married man, to Sudbury in 1749, and thereafter moved to Ipswich and then Bath as he became more fashionable as a portraitist. He ended his career in London, dying in August 1788. Fulcher's work is anecdotal and engaging, and is concerned as much with Gainsborough's life as with his works. He also provides a list of Gainsborough's works, and reproduces the lecture on Gainsborough given by Joshua Reynolds to the Royal Academy students soon after his death.


  • Preface
  • 1. Birthplace and parentage
  • 2. Gainsborough's brothers
  • 3. Early years
  • 4. Ipswich
  • 5. Bath
  • 6. London
  • 7. Reynolds's tribute
  • List of Gainsborough's works
  • Addenda
  • Appendix.

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