Gainsborough (1727-1788) was born in Suffolk, but trained in London where
he met the leading craftsmen of the day, becoming
aware of continental artistic trends without
going abroad himself. Between 1748 and 1759 he
set up a successful portrait practice in his
native Suffolk, producing images of the local
gentry. He also sketched and painted landscapes
for his own amusement throughout his life; this
interest can be seen most vividly in the backgrounds
for some of his portraits.
In 1759 he moved to the fashionable spa of Bath
and became an overnight success, enabling him
to demand ever-higher prices for his works. He
charged £20 for a quarter-length portrait, £40
for a half-length and £60 for a full-length.