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Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 2 August 1788) was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, the youngest of the nine children of John Gainsborough and the sister of the Reverend Humphry Burroughs; he was baptized in Sudbury on 14 May 1727. He attended Sudbury Grammar School, of which his maternal uncle was the master. He took to sketching at an early age, and when he was thirteen prevailed upon his father to send him up to London to become an artist. A pupil of the French illustrator and draftsman Hubert Gravelot, Gainsborough was intimately involved with avant-garde rococo art and design, and seems to have assisted Francis Hayman on his genre paintings for the decoration of Vauxhall Gardens.