Shopping Basket

Gainsborough’s Family Album Hardcover Catalogue

Regular price £29.95

Featuring over 50 portraits by the 18th-century master Thomas Gainsborough (1727–88) – of himself, his wife, his daughters and other close relatives – this ‘family album’ accompanies the first major exhibition devoted to this remarkable and highly personal aspect of the artist’s work.

Free shipping on all UK orders - ends midnight 29th November. *excludes some Limited Artist Editions. Every purchase supports the National Portrait Gallery


Price: £29.95
Format: 280 x 240mm 
Extent: 192 pages 
Illustrations: 75 
Category: Art/Art History

Christmas Shipping
For our last posting dates for Christmas 2021 delivery please 

CLICK HERE

Shipping: United Kingdom

Royal Mail Standard (not tracked) 3 - 5 working days from £2.95

Royal Mail Signed for (tracked) 3 - 5 working days £4.95

Royal Mail SD Guaranteed Next Day (for orders placed before 12:00pm Monday to Thursday) £7.95

DHL Courier 2 - 3 working days £9.95

Free UK Shipping on orders over £60

Shipping: International (10-14 working days)

Royal Mail International Europe - from £3.50

Royal Mail International Rest of the World - from £5.00

DHL Courier Europe Shipping - from £20.00

DHL Courier Rest of the World and USA - from £25.00

Shipping costs calculated at checkout.

Ordering to the EU:

Please click here for more information about how EU orders are processed and shipped including IOSS.

Please note that international customs duties and sales taxes may apply to some orders outside the UK, and that the customer is liable for these charges.

Teemill Shipping charges:

UK Mainland - £4.00 Europe - £6.00 International (ROW) - £7.00

Teemill shipping rates are charged separately to National Portrait Gallery shipping charges. Please note that both shipping charges may apply in some cases due to items being shipped from different locations.

Further information on shipping rates, returns and damages can be found here

Covid-19: See our COVID-19 Prevention Policy page.

‘I am sick of Portraits and wish very much to take up my Viol da Gamba and walk off to some sweet village when I can paint Landskips and enjoy the fag end of life in quietness and ease.’
Thomas Gainsborough

Despite this famous protestation in a letter to his friend William Jackson, Gainsborough was clearly prepared to make an exception when it came to making portraits of his own family and himself. This book, and the major exhibition it accompanies, features a dozen portraits of his daughters Mary and Margaret, the same number of himself and his wife Margaret (though, perhaps tellingly, only one of the couple together), as well as works depicting four of his five siblings, his handsome nephew Gainsborough Dupont (who became his studio assistant), an aunt and uncle, several in-laws and – last, but not least – his beloved dogs, Tristram and Fox. Spanning more than four decades, Gainsborough’s family portraits chart the period from the mid-1740s, when he plied his trade in his native Suffolk, through his time in Bath (1758–74), when he established himself with a rich and fashionable clientele, to his most successful latter years at his luxuriously appointed studio in London’s West End. Alongside this story of a provincial 18th-century artist’s rise to fame and fortune runs a more private narrative, about the role of portraiture in the promotion of family values, at a time when these were assuming a recognisably modern form.

In the first of three introductory essays, David H. Solkin writes on Gainsborough himself, placing his family portraits in the context of earlier practice – including that of the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens and British portraitists from Mary Beale to Joseph Highmore. Ann Bermingham explores Gainsborough’s portraits of his daughters, with particular reference to two finished double portraits painted seven years apart and the tragic story arising from them. Susan Sloman discusses Margaret’s role as her husband’s business manager, its effect on the family dynamic and hence the visual representation of its members.