April 3rd, 2012
L is for Sir Thomas Lawrence
Sir Thomas Lawrence, the most popular portrait painter in Europe in the early 1800s.
At only 21 he took the London art world by storm at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1790, dazzling audiences with his full lenth portraits of Queen Charlotte and the actress Elizabeth Farren. "Their frankness, vivacity and delight in textures and detail departed from the overblown allegories of Grand Manner portraiture' and the critis acclaimed him a rival and successor to Sir Joshua Reynolds.
One of his well-known portraits, a painting of Sarah Barrett Moulton (known to her family as PINKIE)
And another of Charles Lampton, entitled Red Boy. Pinkie is more often seen with
Gainsborough's Blue Boy.
A bit of gossip.
Aways in Love, always in Debt, Lawrence was involved with the Siddons sisters, - first with Sally, then with Maria, then back to Sally. However, it is said that it was really their mother, Sarah Siddons (the actress) that he was enthralled with. Lawrence's entanglements with the Siddons family has been the subject of three books and a recent radio play.
Sir Lawrence never married. He died suddenly on the 7th of January, 1830 from heart complications, leaving a number of unfinished paintings in his studio. The collection was eventually split up and auctioned. Many of his creditors were paid, but there was no money left, although a memorial exhibition at the British Institution raised Three Thousand Pounds which was given to his nieces.
Lady Harriet Maria Coningham
I find this to be a particularly appealing portrait by Sir Thomas.
For more great L's visit here at ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her Lucky helpers.