Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gaugain, Thomas

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GAUGAIN, THOMAS (1748–1810?), stipple-engraver, born at Abbeville in France in 1748, came when young with other members of his family to England. He studied engraving under R. Houston. He practised at first as a painter, and exhibited in 1778 at the Royal Academy, sending ‘A Moravian Peasant,’ ‘The Shepherdess of the Alps,’ and a portrait. He continued to exhibit there up to 1782. From 1780 he devoted himself principally to engraving, using the stipple method, and engraving some of his own designs. Four of these, printed in colours, viz. ‘Annette,’ ‘Lubin,’ ‘May-day,’ and ‘The Chimney Sweeper's Garland,’ he sent to the exhibition of the Free Society of Artists in 1783. Gaugain ranks among the best stipple-engravers of the period, and produced a large number of engravings. Among them may be noticed ‘Diana and her Nymphs,’ after W. Taverner, ‘The Officers and Men saved from the Wreck of the Centaur,’ after J. Northcote, ‘Lady Caroline Manners,’ after Sir Joshua Reynolds, ‘The Death of Prince Leopold of Brunswick,’ after J. Northcote, ‘The Last Interview of Charles I with his Children,’ after Benazech, ‘Diligence and Dissipation,’ a set of ten engravings after J. Northcote, ‘Rural Contemplation,’ after R. Westall, ‘The Madonna,’ after W. Miller, ‘Warren Hastings,’ from a bust by T. Banks, ‘Charles James Fox,’ from a bust by Nollekens, ‘Lieut.-Col. Disbrowe,’ after T. Barker, and numerous others after W. Hamilton, W. R. Bigg, G. Morland, J. Barney, J. Milbourne, Maria Cosway, and others. Gaugain lived for some years at 4 Little Compton Street, Soho. It is not certain when he died, but the engraving mentioned last was published in 1809, and he very probably died soon after that date.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dodd's MS. Hist. of English Engravers; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Leblanc's Manuel de l'Amateur d'Estampes.]

L. C.