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Gainsborough (World of Art)

William Vaughan


'Excellent … in Vaughan’s hands, Gainsborough is always a human first, and an outstanding artist a close second … a very timely publication, hugely deserving of a wide audience and a long shelf-life' The Art Book


Gainsborough is one of the most appealing artists of the eighteenth century. Renowned for such elegant portraits as The Blue Boy and Countess Howe, he also pioneered a new form of landscape with a moody sensibility that prefigured the Romantic movement. He was a brilliant draftsman, and his art is full of inventiveness and visual delight.

William Vaughan draws on recently discovered material to provide a fresh perspective on both the life and art of this master. He shows how closely Gainsborough’s innovative manner can be connected to social and political developments in Britain, in particular the celebration of original genius in a time of burgeoning entrepreneurial commercialism. Above all, he demonstrates how, beneath the artist’s charm, there lay a bedrock of shrewd observation and pictorial intelligence that gives his work a value for all time.

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'Gainsborough is placed in the premier division of British artists in this perceptive monograph'
The Independent

'A tremendous book, with a good flowing concise style…it will be useful for students following a syllabus as well as anyone who sees these delicious paintings and wants to know more'
The Lecturer

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 172

Publication date: 11 March 2002

ISBN: 9780500203583

About the Author

William Vaughan is a British Art Historian and has been Emeritus Professor of History of Art at Birkbeck College, University of London since 2003.