This exhibition has now closed, find out what else is going on at The Holburne Museum



The world of 18th-century theatre is illuminated through Gainsborough’s art and friendships.

Bringing together some of Gainsborough’s finest portraits of leading actors, managers, musicians, playwrights, designers, dancers and critics of the 1760s-80s, this exhibition will explore themes of celebrity, naturalism, performance and friendship.

Gainsborough’s move to Bath in 1759 coincided with the rising wealth and social status of leading actors, such as James Quin and David Garrick, both of whom he painted. His friendship with the pair opened more doors for him, both in Bath and then later in London. The two actors also enabled Gainsborough to explore naturalism in portraiture, just as they and their contemporaries were turning to less artificial forms of performance in theatre, music and dance.

There are 37 objects on display, with 15 oil portraits by Gainsborough (including his famous depiction of the renowned actress Sarah Siddons), works on paper (satires, views of theatres and playbills) and ephemera from public and private collections across the UK.

The Holburne Museum

Great Pulteney Street, Bath, Somerset, BA2 4DB

01225 388588

Website

Opening times

Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun and Bank Holidays, 11am – 5pm Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan

Free to all

Free entry with National Art Pass

50% off exhibitions with National Art Pass

Haven't got your pass yet? Learn more


Exhibitions and events at The Holburne Museum


Related exhibitions

Back to top