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Item Number: 147098
Title: GAINSBOROUGH and the Theatre
Author: Belsey, Hugh ; Susan Sloman
Price: Not Available
ISBN: 9781781300664
Description: London: Philip Wilson, in association with The Holburne Museum, Bath, 2018. 28cm., pbk., 112pp., 50 color illus.

Summary: Based on new research this book draws together a group of works from public and private collections to examine, for the fi rst time, the relationship that Gainsborough had with the theatrical world and the most celebrated stage artists of his day. His advocate Henry Bate, editor of the Morning Herald, wrote one of the most successful theatrical afterpieces of the period. Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was linked with the stage through personal friendships with James Quinn, David Garrick and Sarah Siddons, the most renowned actors of the eighteenth century. He painted notable portraits of these and twenty others, including dramatists, dancers and composers. Not long after Gainsborough moved from Bath to London in 1774 the management of the Drury Lane Theatre passed to the artist's friends Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Thomas Linley. At this period London's theatres were undergoing regular refurbishment to take account of technical innovations in lighting and stage machinery. At the King's Theatre in Haymarket in 1778 the 'elegant improvements' included frontispiece fi gures emblematic of Music and Dancing painted in monochrome by Gainsborough. The book establishes the artist's place within Bath and London's theatrical worlds. It will show why the art of ballet, and in particular Gainsborough's sitters Gaetan Vestris, Auguste Vestris and Giovanna Baccelli rose to prominence in 1780, and examines parallels between Gainsborough's much admired painterly naturalism and the theatrical naturalism of David Garrick and Mrs Siddons.

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