Thomas Gainsborough (christened 14 May 1727 - died 2 August 1788) was one of the most famous portrait and landscape painters of 18th century Britain.
Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, England. His father was a weaver involved with the wool trade. At the age of thirteen he impressed his father with his pencilling skills so that he let him go to London to study art in 1740. In London he first trained under engraver Hubert Gravelot but eventually became associated with William Hogarth and his school.
One of his mentors was Francis Hayman. In those years he contributed to the decoration of what is now the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children and the supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens.