MORE than 3,000 people attended the week-long celebrations of the birth of Sudbury’s most famous son, the great English painter Thomas Gainsborough, last week during the second annual Gainsborough Week to celebrate the life and work of the 18th century artist.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Gainsborough’s House Museum, which displays more of his work at any one time than any other museum in the world.
Gainsborough Week culminated on Monday in the recently-revived “garlanding” ceremony of the Market Hill statue by Sally Freer from Gainsborough’s House.
She was elevated to the top of the statue on a cherry picker in order to place a garland of flowers around the artist’s neck.
Gainsborough Week was very well attended, according to organisers, with people from all over the country visiting Sudbury and the artist’s birthplace in Gainsborough Street.
The week included walks and talks, a boat trip, an exhibition of silk-making and the display of Gainsborough’s original baptismal register of 1727.
The May Market event on Saturday at Gainsborough’s House was particularly well-attended with stalls selling plants, cakes, garden accessories and cards, as well as original artwork.
Nick Winch, of Gainsborough’s House, said: “About 500 people came to the market and it was a great success.
“There seemed to be a lot of people around in Sudbury on Saturday. We estimated just over 3,000 people attended events during the week.”