Thomas Gainsborough, one of the most popular British painters, has been celebrated as a landscapist, a portrait painter, and a man of feeling whose impetuous character is revealed in his art, life and letters. This book reveals that the style, themes and ideas of Gainsborough’s paintings constitute purposeful expressions of an intellectual and visual culture whose importance in the development of eighteenth-century British art has gone unrecognized.
"Amal Asfour and Paul Williamson have set out to make us look more knowledgeably at the paintings of Gainsborough... their treatment is richly informative."—George Steiner, The Observer
"Asfour and Williamson display a profound knowledge of 18th-century aesthetics... a highly stimulating book."—The British Art Journal
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aesthetic Antwerp appear artificial artistic attitude beauty Berkeley Berkeley’s British Bunyan church colour contrast depiction Diana and Actaeon Discourses distance Doddridge drawing Dutch effect eighteenth-century Emblem Books emblematic emotional Essay example expression figures foreground Francis Hayman Francis Quarles French Gainsborough's House Girl God’s Hayes Huguenot human Hume hymns Ibid idea imagery imagination imitation Ipswich Isaac Watts Jacob Cats John judgement Letters light lines Locke Locke's London mind moral motion Museum National Gallery nature objects observation Oil on canvas Otto van Veen painter painterly painting passions pastoral Paulson perception perspective Peter Paul Rubens Philip Doddridge picture Piles Piles's pleasure poetry portrait Quarles religious representation Reynolds Reynolds's rococo Rubens Rubens's scene sensations sense sentiment sitter spiritual Sudbury Suffolk suggests theory Thicknesse things Thomas Gainsborough tree viewer vision visual Watteau Watts Watts's William Hogarth Woodall Wooded Landscape