Hugh Belsey studied as an undergraduate at the University of Manchester where he continued his studies taking the Post-graduate Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies. He then took an MLitt in Fine Arts at the Barber Institute, University of Birmingham, studying the Grand Tour and the collecting of George, 3rd Earl Cowper. He first worked at Bowood in Wiltshire before becoming Curator of Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury, a post he held for twenty-three years. During his time there the collections were transformed and when he left he was awarded an MBE. He is presently a Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art with the task of writing the definitive catalogue of portraits by Thomas Gainsborough. He lectures widely in Britain, Continental Europe, America and, later on in this year, Australia. He frequently writes exhibition and book reviews, articles for a variety of periodicals in this country and America and he was a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of Art and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.