Thursday, April 12, 2007


Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) was a notable English painter, mostly of portraits. At the age of six Lawrence was already being shown off to the guests of his parents who were inn keepers as an infant prodigy who could sketch their likenesses and declaim speeches from Milton. In 1784 he gained the prize and silver-gilt palette of the Society of Arts for a crayon drawing after Raphael's Transfiguration, and presently beginning to paint in oil.

In 1794 he was a Royal Academician, and he became the fashionable portrait painter of the age, having as his sitters all the rank, fashion and talent of England, and ultimately most of the crowned heads of Europe. In 1815 he was knighted; in 1818 he went to Aix-la-Chapelle to paint the sovereigns and diplomatists gathered there, and visited Vienna and Rome, everywhere receiving flattering marks of distinction from princes, due as much to his courtly manners as to his merits as an artist.

This Portrait of Miss Emily de Visme painted in 1794 is an oil on canvas and was auctioned off in 1978 for £ 120,000 ($220,000). Since 2007 it belongs to the National Gallery.

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