Long considered one of the great masterpieces of 18th-century portraiture, Thomas Gainsborough’s iconic painting first appeared in public at the British Royal Academy exhibition of 1770.  It was originally titled “Portrait of a Young Gentleman.” When admiring critics called it “The Blue Boy,” the nickname stuck.  In 1922, despite a massive outcry in Britain, the painting came to America when it was sold to American railway tycoon Henry Huntington. Its $728,000 sale price, the highest ever paid for a painting at that time, increased the portrait’s superstar status. Learn more about The Blue Boy painting and the extraordinary career of one of the most talented, original, and colorful painters in British art history.