A brush with 18th Century entertainment.

"True, but every goose can...". A caricature of Marie-Auguste Vestris, the Dancer. Dance-Holland, Nathaniel (British, 1735-1811). Graphite, black chalk and coloured washes on chain-marked paper, height 240 mm, width 260 mm.

One of Bath’s former resident artists comes under the spotlight at the Holburne Museum in an exhibition that features Thomas Gainsborough’s personal and artistic links with the 18th century world of entertainment.

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Gainsborough and the Theatre – currently running through to January 20th next year – brings together some of his finest portraits created here in Bath and in London.

The artist arrived in the city in 1759 when he was just 32 years of age – accompanied by his wife and two daughters. Bearing in mind how Bath had taken off as the place to be seen – if you were anyone to see – he found a ready market for his painting skills.

Portrait of Thomas Linley the Elder - Dulwich
Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Linley the elder, c. 1770, oil on canvas, 76.5 x 63.5, DPG140. By
Permission of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Bath Newseum has been chatting to the Holburne’s Senior Curator – the designer of this exhibition – Amina Wright.