Description - Gainsborough in Bath by Susan Sloman
When Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) arrived in the spa town of Bath, at the age of 31, he was an artist of modest reputation. When he left 16 years later, he had completed such major works as "The Blue Boy" and "Peasants Going to Market" and was recognized as one of Europe's foremost painters. In this study, Susan Sloman examines how this transformation took place. She offers a view of Gainsborough's development during his middle years as well as information about Bath and its role, for a few decades in the 18th century, as a cultural centre of Europe. Drawing on documents and a variety of little-known contemporary published sources, the book seeks to illuminate artistic activity in Bath, and Gainsborough's part in it. Sloman describes the supporting players in the artist's career, including his banker, patrons, suppliers, wine merchant, tailor and other artists and writers, and considers how Gainsborough's place in the commercial life of the town influenced his portrait practice and the evolution of his personal style.
The work also explores how his family life regularly impinged on his professional career and how his wife's relationship with the dukes of Beaufort influenced the patronage he enjoyed and his friendship with members of the Price family. Sloman reveals how Gainsborough's prominence as an artist and Bath's as a cultural hub were intimately connected during the middle years of the 18th century, a period during which the artist and his town flourished together.
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(279mm x 229mm x mm)
Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
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Book Reviews - Gainsborough in Bath by Susan Sloman
Author Biography - Susan Sloman
Susan Sloman is an independent scholar. She was for ten years Keeper of Collections at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath.