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Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) | Romantic painter



Sir Thomas Lawrence was the leading British🎨 portrait painter of the early 19th century, portraying most of the important personalities of the day in his polished and flattering style.
He was a child prodigy and largely self-taught; at the age of 10 he was making accomplished portraits in crayon.
He was influenced by Sir Joshua Reynolds🎨 during his youth; his style developed very little throughout his life.


Lawrence was born in Bristol, moved with his family to Devizes and then to Bath. He took to painting in 1786 and became a pupil at the Royal Academy school in 1787; in the following year, at the age of 19, he exhibited his first portrait.
In 1794 he became a member of the Academy and Painter-in-Ordinary to the King (George III) on the death of Reynolds in 1792.
He was knighted in 1815 and became President of the Academy five years later.
He was very successful in commercial terms, and made (and spent) a great deal of money.
He was also a collector and formed one of the finest collections of Old Master drawings ever known.
In 1818-20 he was in Aachen, Vienna and Rome on behalf of the Prince Regent, making full-length portraits of the allied sovereigns who had contributed to the defeat of Napoleon; these were for the prince's Waterloo Gallery at Windsor. | © The National Gallery, London











Lawrence, Sir Thomas - Pittore (Bristol 1769 - Londra 1830). Ritrattista precocissimo, fu tra i più famosi per la resa rapida e precisa della somiglianza, l'eleganza della composizione e la grazia degli accordi coloristici.
Nel 1787 entrò in contatto con J. Reynolds, del quale fu praticamente il successore (suoi rivali furono W. Breechey e J. Hoppner).
Nel 1789 eseguì il suo primo ritratto a tutta figura per la Royal Academy (Bristol, City art gallery); l'anno successivo ritrasse la regina Carlotta.
Nel 1792 divenne pittore del re; nel 1815 fu inviato a Vienna a ritrarre i generali vittoriosi; nel 1818 fu a Roma, dove ritrasse Pio VII (il dipinto è ora a Windsor, dove sono conservati molti suoi ritratti).


Pertanto le sue opere costituiscono un documento prezioso della vita dell'alta società inglese del principio del sec. 19º.
La maggior parte di esse si trova a Windsor, altre nella National Gallery e nella National portrait gallery a Londra.
Raccolse un'ammirevole collezione, soprattutto di disegni e stampe che, dopo la sua morte, passò al mercante d'arte S. Woodburn, suo creditore.
Proviene dalla collezione L. il quadro Le tre grazie di Raffaello (oggi a Chantilly, Musée Condé). | © Treccani



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