Hired to Depress: A Digital Scholarly Edition of William Blake's Annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds' Discourses

Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough was a leading portrait painter and major rival of Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Although Gainsborough preferred rustic and pastoral scenes, he privately lamented his employment as a portraitist. Art historian Michael Rosenthal names Gainsborough as one of "the most experimental artists of his time,” Blake harbors little respect for him. Indeed, Blake’s description of “blotted and blurred” may, in part, refer to Gainsborough’s feathery brushwork.


Thomas Gainsborough's deathbed letter to Sir Joshua Reynolds from Royal Academy of Arts on Vimeo.

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