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Thomas Lawrence
 
 

Thomas Lawrence, Self-portrait, 1788
 

Sir Thomas Lawrence, (born April 13, 1769, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Eng.—died Jan. 7, 1830, London), painter and draftsman who was the most fashionable English portrait painter of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

He was the son of an innkeeper who owned the Black Bear at Devizes, where the young Lawrence won a reputation as a prodigy for his profile portraits in pencil of guests. Later he began to work in pastel, and in 1780, when his family moved to Bath, he set up professionally. He had little regular education or artistic training, but was working in oils by the time he moved to London in 1787. There he studied at the Royal Academy schools for a short time and was given encouragement by Sir Joshua Reynolds. He was handsome, charming, and exceptionally gifted. His early success was phenomenal, and when he was 20 years of age he was summoned to Windsor to paint the portrait, later widely acclaimed, of Queen Charlotte. He was elected associate of the Royal Academy in 1791 and academician in 1794.

Lawrence was a highly skilled draftsman. He soon abandoned pastels but continued to make portraits in pencil and chalks. These were separate commissions and were rarely studies for paintings, as it was his usual practice to make a careful drawing of the head and sometimes the whole composition on the canvas itself and to paint over it. There are highly interesting references to his working methods in Joseph Farington’s Diary.

After the death of Reynolds, Lawrence was the leading English portrait painter. His works exhibit a fluid touch, rich colour, and great ability to realize textures. He presented his sitters in a dramatic, sometimes theatrical, manner that produced Romantic portraiture of a high order. After the death of John Hoppner in 1810 he was patronized by the Prince Regent, who knighted him in 1815 and sent him in 1818 to the political congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle and Vienna, where he painted 24 large full-length portraits of the military leaders and heads of state of the Holy Alliance. Executed with verve and elegance, these works now hang together in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle—a unique historical document of the period. By these works Lawrence was recognized as the foremost portrait painter of Europe. On his return to England in 1820 he was elected president of the Royal Academy.

Lawrence was also a distinguished connoisseur. His collection of old-master drawings was one of the finest ever assembled, and he was instrumental in securing the collection of Greek sculptures known as the Elgin Marbles for the nation and in the founding of the National Gallery.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 


The Two Sons of the 1st Earl of Talbot
1793
Oil on canvas, 228 x 213 cm
Neue Pinakothek, Munich
 
 
 
 


Portrait of Canova
Oil on canvas, 58 x 49 cm
Private collection
 
 
 
 


Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Conyngham
1821-24
Oil on canvas, 91 x 71 cm
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon
 
 
 
 
 


Lady Constance Carruthers
 
 
 
 
 


Portrait Of The Duke Of Wellington
 
 
 
 


Maria, wife of Sir William Oglander
 
 
 
 

The Daughters of Colonel Thomas Carteret Hardy
1801
oil on canvas
Cleveland Museum of Art





Elisabeth Farren, Later Countess of Derby
oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York









Mr and Mrs John Julius Angerstein
1792
Oil on canvas, 252 x 160 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris



 


Portrait of the Children of John Angerstein
1808
Oil on canvas, 194 x 144 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris



Queen Charlotte
1789-90
Oil on canvas, 239 x 147 cm
National Gallery, London



Miss Martha Carry
c. 1789
Oil on canvas, 76 x 64 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid



Margaret, Countess of Blessington
1822
Oil on canvas, 91 x 67 cm
Wallace Collection, London



Diana Sturt, Lady Milner
1815-20
Oil on canvas, 78 x 65 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna



Pope Pius VII
1819
Oil on canvas, 269 x 178 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor





Philadelphia Hannah, First Viscountess Cremorne
1789
Tate Gallery at London





Portrait of William Lock
1790
oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass






Mrs. Siddons
1804
oil on canvas
Tate Gallery, London

 
 
 
 




Portrait of Count Mikhail Vorontsov





Portrait of Mrs. Wolff
1815
oil on canvas
Art Institute of Chicago





The Fluyder Children
1805
oil on canvas
Museum of Art, Sao Paolo






Mrs. Henry Baring and her Children
1817





The Calmady Children
1824
oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York






Miss Caroline Fry
1827
oil on canvas
Tate Gallery at London





The Prince Regent [later George IV] of England





The Angerstein Children






Conde S. R. Vorontsov






Dama de la familia Storer






David Lyon






John Fane, X Conde de Westmoreland






Mrs. Isaac Cuthbert

 
 
 
 


Portrait of Alexander I
1818
Black and red chalk, 498 x 351 mm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
 
 
 
 


Portrait of a Princess
 
 
 
 


Portrait Of The Hon, George Fane, Later Lord Burghersh, When A Boy
 
 
 
 
 


Portrait Of George Nugent Grenville, Lord Nugent
 
 
 
 


A Gypsy Girl
 
 
 
 
 


Portrait of the Honorable Mrs. Seymour Bathurst, 1828
 
 
 
 


Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
1811
 
 
 

 
 
 
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