Huntington Library in Pasadena. This spring, Southern Californians can see one dozen more legendary Gainsborough paintings at the special exhibition "Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman" at the San Diego Museum of Art.'s portraits "Blue Boy" and "Pinkie" fascinate visitors to the
Thomas Gainsborough achieved international renown as the favorite portraitist of the British Royal family A child prodigy, he began art school at the age of 13. Gainsborough originally worked in the fashionable spa of Bath and moved to the British capital London in 1774 at age 47.
Gainsborough excelled at presenting the personalities of his female subjects with opulent fashions and poses that radiate activity. Royal life in Gainsborough's time was a lively mix of society, scandal and beauty -- characteristics that transform his portraits to colorful dramas. One of his best known portraits, of ballerina Giovanna Baccelli, surrounds the figure with layers of flowing fabrics, recreating the dazzling motion of her spirited dances.
Many of Gainsborough's portraits are literally larger than life. Designed for display in Grand Halls of English Country homes, they tower over visitors to the exhibition. They are also on view in the bookshelf sized edition in the "Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman" exhibition catalogue."
This exhibition continues through May 1, right after the April 29 Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.