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Title Portrait of Thomas Gainsborough
Collection Gainsborough´s House, Sudbury
Artist Heins, John Theodore, Sr. (painter and engraver, probably German, ca. 1697-1756, active in Great Britain)
Date 1731 (dated)
Signed yes
Description The German artist John Theodore Heins travelled to England around 1720 and settled in Norwich, where he established a successful portraiture business, servicing the gentry and merchant families of East Anglia. In 1731 he travelled to Sudbury in Suffolk, where he had been commissioned to paint the family of the entrepreneur Thomas Gainsborough (1678-1739), paternal uncle of the artist of the same name and the father of the Thomas Gainsborough (1709-1738) depicted here. This painting was acquired by Gainsborough's House in 1984, along with Heins's portrait of the sitter's brother, John Gainsborough (1711-72).
Current Accession Number 1984.003
Inscription front ll 'Heins. Fec: / 1731'
Subject portrait (Gainsborough, Thomas)
Measurements 76.2 x 63.5 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Leger Galleries with grant aid from the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Fund, the National Art-Collections Fund (Reginald Jones Bequest), Sudbury Town Council and an anonymous donor, 1984.
Provenance By descent to Maria Gainsborough, the sitter's great niece; by descent to Reymes Hurrell; his widow, until 1929; anon. sale, Christie's, London, 22 February 1929, (as part of a collection six Gainsborough family portraits, lots 29-32), boughtt by [?] Spiller; Leger Galleries 1967; private collection; Leger Galleries 1971; David Levin.
Principal Exhibitions Gainsborough's Family, Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, 1988, cat. no. 1; Gainsborough at Gainsborough's House, Thos. Agnew & Sons Ltd, London, 2003, cat. no. 52.
Publications Bensusan-Butt, J., ‘The Young Gainsborough', The Burlington Magazine, vol. 127, no. 988 (July 1985), pp. 459-60 and fig. 59 [letter]; Belsey, H., Gainsborough's Family, exh. cat., Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, 1988; Vaughan, W. Gainsborough (World of Art series), London, 2002, p. 19, ill.; Belsey, H., Gainsborough at Gainsborough's House, London, 2002, p. 106, ill.
Notes The painting depicts the first cousin of Thomas Gainsborough, the artist.
Rights Owner Trustees of Gainsborough's House, Sudbury
Author Richard Johns




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