Thomas Gainsborough:
The Portraits, Fancy Pictures and Copies after Old Masters

Hugh Belsey

Publicaton Date
February 2019
Standard Number
Yale University Press
1100 pages, 292 x 248 mm
1,300 color + b-w illus.

Scholars and enthusiasts alike will revel in this ambitious two-volume catalogue raisonné of Thomas Gainsborough’s portraits and copies of Old Master works. The catalogue contains approximately 1,100 paintings, including nearly 200 works newly attributed to the British master, as well as updated information about his subjects and specially commissioned photography. Each portrait entry includes the biography of the sitter—including several newly identified—the painting’s provenance, and exhibitions in which each work was shown. Gainsborough’s copies after Old Masters, painted in admiration and used to assimilate their style of painting into his own work, are documented here as well. Research includes in-depth analysis of newspaper archives and other printed material to establish the date of a painting’s production, chart the development of the artist’s style, and assess the impression the work made within the context of its time.

About the author

  • Hugh Belsey, a human man, rubbing his chin and smiling in front of painting

    Hugh Belsey was Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre between 2004 and 2017.