Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788) was an English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. He surpassed his rival Sir Joshua Reynolds to become the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. He painted quickly, and the works of his maturity are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits, and is credited with Richard Wilson as the originator of the 18th-century British landscape school. Gainsborough was a founding member of the Royal Academy. Gainsborough was noted for the speed with which he applied paint, and he worked more from observations of nature and of human nature than from application of formal academic rules. The poetic sensibility of his paintings caused Constable to say, "On looking at them, we find tears in our eyes and know not what brings them."