James hamilton writes a lively enjoyable biography well suited to his intemperate but hugely talented subject it is a light read but well researched with some fascinating sidelights for example on the andrews family portrait or on the twin pulls of landscape painting versus portraiture. Gainsborough a portrait by james hamilton is much much more than a biography of a painter though if it were only that it would still be a masterpiece of its genre thomas gainsborough was born in suffolk in 1727 and died in london in 1788. Thomas gainsborough a portrait by james hamilton different strokes yet in his hands even a waistcoat and they feature regularly in james hamiltons wonderful new biography is a thing . In his delightfully racy portrait of one of our most renowned british portraitists the art historian james hamilton suggests that thomas gainsboroughs wedding picture of a pair of snooty suffolk landowners is adorned with more pictures of penises than the wall of a public loo. In gainsborough a portrait james hamilton draws upon new sources of information to explore the connections between the fascinating and lively painter the rapidly changing century that he was part of and the work that he would eventually be remembered for
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