Tuesday, April 03, 2012

ABC Wednesday
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.


EG CameraGirl said...

He was certainly a talented artist but not so fortunate with money and love. :)

VioletSky said...

He was yet another raving eccentric. But so talented and under appreciated.

Carver said...

Great idea to feature this artist and his work for L day. Carver, ABC Wednesday Team

Roger Owen Green said...

he was a naughty boy.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

ChrisJ said...

I think the way the dog is looking at Lady Harriet is what makes it so appealing. It gives the painting movement. We know the dog will not keep his head in the same position for very long and his tongue hanging out tells us he is panting. Lovely paintings.

Reader Wil said...

Such a pity that I never heard of this talented painter before. Thanks for this post and for drawing the attention to him.!
Have a great day, Hildred and Charles!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I always wondered who painted the Red Boy Denise - so thanks for that bit of info.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wow, do I ever feel illiterate -- I always thought Pinkie was also painted by Gainsborough, since I always saw the two pictures together. (My grandmother had them hanging above her fireplace.)Now why didn't she tell me about the artists? (She probably did and I didn't listen.)

This was a very interesting post about a talented but (at the very least) eccentric artist. My new thing to learn today -- thank you!

Paula Scott said...

A master of light, for sure. Great "L" choice!

chubskulit said...

Those portraits are beautiful.

Littlest Petshop
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team