Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

Thomas Gainsborough had two children, Mary (1750-1826) and Margaret (1752-1820).

Artist's Daughters Chasing a Butterfly, 1756

The Painter's Daughters, ca. 1758

Artist's Daughters with a Cat, 1759
Portrait of the Artist's Daughters, ca.1763-64
The Artist's Daughters. 1770
The Artist's Daughter, Margaret, 1772
The Artist's Daughter, Mary, 1777
Gainsborough was a proud and affectionate father which his numerous paintings of his daughters can attest to.  His portraits also show how close his daughters were to one another.  The girls had an interesting childhood, granting them access to high society and some of the biggest celebrities of the time.  However it did nothing for their dating life.  Only Mary married and it was an extremely unhappy relationship ending in separation.  She began showing signs of mental illness and was taken care of by her parents until their death.  The Gainsborough girls lived out the remainder of their life together with Margaret acting as caretaker to Mary.


  1. What a tragic story, but at least they had a happy childhood - that can't be said for a lot of celebrity kids of the era.

    And gorgeous, gorgeous portraits. I can really imagine both of them as 'real' people.