Portraits of Love: the Album of Thomas Gainsborough

Portraits of Love: the Album of Thomas Gainsborough
#Exhibitions

More than once, the great Thomas Gainsborough was heard to curse the “damned faces” of his own models. Nothing personal, it’s just that his success as a portraitist got in the way of dedicating himself to his true passion - painting landscapes. For better or worse, the tendency towards portraits even invaded the personal life of the master who, for the first time in history, created a remarkable collection of paintings with his own family as the subjects - his wife Margaret, his father John, his children, siblings, nieces and nephews, even his dogs were immortalised many times in what seemed to be an episodic treatment of their daily lives. Now, the National Portrait Gallery has gathered together 50 works from museums and private collections around the world, shedding light on one of the unexplored aspects of the great British artist. “A unique exhibition,” explains museum director Nicholas Cullinan, “which focuses its attention on the works created for love rather than money and which offers an unprecedented opportunity to observe the intimate, personal aspect of the portraits of Gainsborough. What’s more, it does so through depictions of “normal people”, in a period in which the portrait was almost exclusively reserved to the rich, famous and upper-class.” Not to be missed, the 12 paintings dedicated to the children of the artist, presented together for the first time, as well as a series of works never displayed before in the United Kingdom, such as the portrait of his father John Gainsborough.
Francesca Grego - © 2018 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London