In his last years Gainsborough excelled in fancy pictures, a pastoral genre that featured idealized subjects (e.g., The Mall, 1783; Frick Coll., New York City). He painted all parts of his pictures himself, an unusual practice for his day. He left a large collection of landscape drawings, which influenced the development of 19th-century landscape art. He is well represented in the national galleries of London, Ireland, and Scotland; in the Wallace Collection, London; and in many private collections. Examples of Gainsborough's work may be seen in the Metropolitan Museum and the museums of Cincinnati, Boston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. Outstanding among his well-known works are Perdita (Wallace Coll., London), The Blue Boy (Huntington Art Gall., San Marino, Calif.), and Lady Innes (Frick Coll.).
See his letters, ed. by M. Woodall (rev. ed. 1963); his drawings, ed. by J. Hayes (2 vol., 1971) and ed. by J. Hayes and L. Staiton (1985); his prints, ed. by J. Hayes (1972); J. Hayes, Gainsborough's Landscape Paintings: A Critical Text and Catalogue Raisonné (2 vol., 1982); J. Lindsay, Gainsborough: His Life and Art (1983); M. Rothschild, The Life and Art of Thomas Gainsborough (1983).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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