"A brilliant composer and musician, Thomas Linley junior (1756-1778) was sent to study the violin in Florence in 1768 and became a close friend of his contemporary Mozart, who predicted a great career for him. He returned to England in 1771, where he wrote music for the theatre, notably for Sheridan’s opera The Duenna. His career was cut short by his death in a boating accident in Lincolnshire.

During the time he spent in Bath, Gainsborough became a close friend of Thomas Linley's father. Four Gainsborough portraits of members of the Linley family can be seen in this room, along with others by Thomas Lawrence and James Lonsdale."


  • Title: Thomas Linley the younger
  • Date: c. 1772
  • Physical Dimensions: w635 x h759 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: British
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: Bath, Linley family; bequeathed to DPG by William Linley, 1835.
  • Further Information: Tom Linley (1756-78) was the first son of Thomas Linley the elder (see Gainsborough DPG140). A singer, violinist and composer, he studied the violin with Nardini in Florence, where he met Mozart in 1770. He returned to England in 1771 and performed in the concerts directed by his father in Bath and at the Drury Lane oratorios. He composed violin sonatas and concertos as well as choral works, and provided most of the music for Sheridan's opera 'The Duenna' (1775). Tom Linley drowned in a boating accident aged 22. DPG331 was probably painted shortly after his return to England in 1771.
  • Artist: Gainsborough, Thomas
  • Acquisition Method: Linley, William (Bequest, 1835)

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