"I'd settle for a Gainsborough... that one of the kid in the blue suit"
Thomas Gainsborough, 1787
Public DomainThomas Gainsborough, 1787 - Credit: Self-portrait

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) was an English portrait and landscape painter.  He was born in Suffolk, and moved toLondon to study art in 1740.  His career took a while to flourish, but with his move to Bath in 1759 he finally acquired the patronage of fashionable society. In 1769 he became a founding member of the Royal Academy.  He painted portraits of the King and Queen and received many royal commissions.  He is credited as the originator of the 18th century British landscape school, while also being the dominant British portrait painter of the second half of the 18th century.

Gainsborough Blue Suit
Public DomainGainsborough Blue Suit - Credit: Gainsborough
His oil painting, The Blue Boy, was painted around 1770, and is one of his most famous works.  It is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall, the son of a wealthy hardware merchant.  The painting was in Jonathan Buttall's possession until he filed for bankruptcy in 1796. It changed hands several times, until it was sold to an art dealer in 1921. The dealer sold it to the American railway pioneer Henry Edwards Huntington, causing a public outcry in Britain.  Before its departure to California in 1922, it was briefly displayed at the National Gallery, where it was seen by 90,000 people. The portrait now resides in the Huntingdon Library, San Marino, California.