Paul Sandby has long been considered the father of English watercolour painting. His career spanned 50 years, a period of history from the Jacobite rebellion to the Napoleonic wars. Sandby had a meticulous eye for detail, having turned his early cartographer career to the painting of landscapes. In 1752, he took up a post with his brother producing landscapes of the royal estates at Windsor (the royal collection includes over 500 images by the Sandby brothers, most of which remain in the royal collections.) In 1768 he became a founder member of the Royal Academy. Thomas Gainsborough recommended Paul Sandby to one patron who wanted to commission views of his country estate; he described him as the only contemporary English landscape artist who painted 'real views from nature'. Art historians have described Sandby as the first artist to fully understand and express the picturesque, but he has also been criticised for representing the prevailing conservatism in English watercolours.