Review Round Up: Gainsborough’s Family Album, National Portrait Gallery

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the National Portrait Gallery’s latest exhibition…. 


The Guardian: ***** “By turning our eyes to the portraits he did for his own pleasure and satisfaction, this exhibition reveals the greatness of Gainsborough. The people here are so alive, it’s as if the gallery had got some actors to dress up and wander about – so incredible is the lightness and animation of Gainsborough’s brush.”

The Observer: **** “Designed to advertise his talents as a portraitist, Thomas Gainsborough’s many paintings of his wife, siblings – above all, his beloved daughters – are swift, impressionistic and captivating.”

Evening Standard: **** “If a face occasionally looks a bit stuck on, at the same time every expression and pose has a genuine sweetness. Every picture is tender.”

Time Out: **** “This show is a lesson in reading: faces, clothes, expressions. It invests these people with dramatic life, and humanises an artist whose upmarket clientele relied on him to make them appear more than human. It’s full of hopes, frustrations, fears, resentments and things unsaid. Like every family.”

The Times: **** “These portraits lack the grandeur and swagger of his commissions, but instead have an intimacy and immediacy not always evident elsewhere.”

The FT:  “The dizzy glamour of Georgian social climbing, and its underbelly of heartbreaking private madness, unfurls with both panache and delicacy in the National Portrait Gallery’s engaging new exhibition.”

London Visitors: “This exhibition is fascinating on a number of levels, Gainsborough in his pictures of his daughters as children, shows a delicate and tenderness for his subject that is often missing in his formal portraits.”

Culture Whisper: “This is a manageable exhibition showcasing exquisite works, but it’s extremely academic and traditional in its approach. If you’re an avid Gainsborough fan, though, seize the opportunity to see so many Gainsborough portraits reunited. If not, we suggest maybe giving this one a wide brith.”

Gainsborough’s Family Album is on display at the National Portrait Gallery until the 3rd February 2019. For more information visit:


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