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The painting of The Blue Boy is perhaps the most well known works by
Gainsborough. It is thought that it is a picture of Jonathan Buttall, who was
the son of a wealthy hardware merchant. It is painted with oil paints on a
canvas and is quite large; 48 inches wide and 70 inches tall. He painted it
over another painting that he had already started to paint. Gainsborough was
born in England and began drawing when he was very young. He started taking
lessons at the age of fifteen. Sarah Siddons was a famous actress during the
time that she lived. Gainsborough was one of the artists she commissioned to
paint her portrait. It is said that he trouble getting her nose to look just
right. He liked to paint landscapes and portraits of people. He painted many
pictures in his lifetime; more than 500 paintings. About 200 of these were
paintings of people. He became wealthy because the rich people wanted him to
paint pictures of their families.