Gainsborough's daughters Mary and Margaret were baptised in February 1750 and August 1751. Mary appears to be about nine or ten years old, and Margaret about eight or nine.

Gainsborough had moved with his family from Ipswich to Bath in the autumn of 1759 and this work may therefore have been painted in Bath rather than in Ipswich. The painting is unfinished, but the outlines of a cat whose tail is being pulled can be seen on the lap of the elder girl.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1727 - 1788
Full title
The Painter's Daughters with a Cat
Date made
probably about 1760-1
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
75.6 x 62.9 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1923
Inventory number
NG3812
Location in Gallery