The Painter's Daughters chasing a Butterfly

This is perhaps Gainsborough's earliest portrait of his two daughters Mary and Margaret; some six others are known. Mary was baptised on 3 February 1750 (taking the same name as a daughter who died two years earlier) and Margaret was baptised on 22 August 1751.

The portrait was probably painted in Ipswich in the mid-1750s and left unfinished.

Key facts

Artist dates
1727 - 1788
Full title
The Painter's Daughters chasing a Butterfly
Date made
probably about 1756
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
113.5 x 105 cm
Acquisition credit
Henry Vaughan Bequest, 1900
Inventory number
Location in Gallery