The Blueboy Painting


He had various commissions in his artistic career and painted portraits, landscapes, and loved animals. Gainsborough’s art style has been described as the beginning style that catalyzed Impressionism.

bLUE BOY in context

Due to its stylistic elements like color and brushwork, the Blue Boy painting was seen as a masterpiece, and is often described as an “icon” of the 21st-century pop culture.

historical overview

Some believe the boy was Jonathan Buttall, a hardware merchant’s son and the initial owner of the painting. It was also suggested that the portrait was of Gainsborough’s nephew.

Have you heard of Pinkie?

Pinkie was painted by English painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence. Many mistake these two paintings as made by the same artist or as brother or sister, but the two come from different time periods, including their costumes.

returning home after 100 years

According to recent news reports, the Thomas Gainsborough “Blue Boy” painting is set to visit England in January 2022 – a century after it was sent to America.

subject matter

In The Blue Boy painting, we see a young boy, possibly Gainsborough’s nephew, Gainsborough Dupont, standing and looking directly at us, the viewers. He appears calm and confident in his stance and demeanor.

color & light

Gainsborough’s primary color is blue and he created a contrasting effect with the darker colors in the background, which consist of greens and browns.

a blue tale

The Blue Boy painting is well over 200 years old, and it still retains the luster of style, although the boy in the painting has been reported not to be royalty.  Nonetheless, Gainsborough has left us with his unique style that would continue to inspire other art movements throughout the years, namely Impressionism.