Thomas Gainsborough The Baillie Family c.1784

Artwork details

Artist
Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
Title
The Baillie Family
Date c.1784
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2508 x 2273 mm
frame: 2705 x 2475 x 95 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Bequeathed by Alexander Baillie 1868
Reference
N00789
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1780

Display caption

Group portraits

by Gainsborough are relatively rare. This large example shows the London merchant James Baillie (1737-1793), with his wife Colin Campbell, and their four young children. Baillie's wife had been given the Christian name of her father Colin Campbell of Glenure. Although a formal portrait, Gainsborough conveys the sense of an affectionate family. Here Mrs Baillie is seated roughly in the centre of the composition

. Standing her youngest child on her knee, she appears to be the fulcrum of family life.

February 2010

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