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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Stringer Lawrence (1697-1775), Major-General

There were sittings to Reynolds in 1760-61 and 1767 [1] with numerous payments recorded in his ledgers. In 1761, for example, 26 January, 1st payment, 10 guineas; in 1765, 17 August, 2nd payment 'General Lawrence for Mrs Bret (cancelled) 36-15' and in 1767, 12 August, 1st payment 'General Lawrence to Mrs. Calliand/paid in part 210'. The following are undated: 2nd payment, 10-10; 'Capt. Martyn for General Lawrence 21-0' and 'General Lawrence Copy 21.0'. [2] A version of the frontal type, plain coat over breastplate, as engraved by Houston is in the India Office and another was sold by Lord Haldon, Christie's, 13 May 1893, lot 110. W. P. Sherlock's engraving of the same type listed by O'Donoghue (5) as in Smollett's History of England, 1757, appeared, in fact, in a later edition. The whole length in general officer's coat shows, in the background, the unfinished temple of Raghunathaswami Srirangam. This, no doubt, is an allusion to the surrender of the French at Srirangam (near Trichinopoly) in 1752. [3] The engraving by E. A. Ezekiel has a tent in the background, right, instead of the tree. The painting, lot 111 in the Haldon sale, presumably originally owned by Sir R. Palk, governor of Madras, was apparently resold at Robinson and Fisher's, 14 December 1893, lot 108, and reappeared, from the Wanamaker collection, Christie's, 16 June 1938, lot 125. A good three-quarter length copy was at the Oriental Club and an oil showing the same gateway, but without the tower, is in the India Office collection (27). [4] Waterhouse dates the whole length type to 1767, no doubt on the evidence of a bill for £210 in that year. This might relate to a whole length and a Kit-cat since Reynolds' charges at this time (1764-66) were £157.10s for the former and £52.10s for the latter. [5] However, it is possible that both types were made from the earlier sittings in 1760-61 and that payment was received only on completion.

A head and shoulders of the same type as the whole length in general officer's jacket, was formerly in the Parry collection, Higham Court. [6] A further type, turned to the right, also in general officer's coat, seems connected with Reynolds on grounds of style. Bequeathed by Lord Curzon to the Victoria Memorial Museum, Calcutta, it was bought by him at the sale of the effects of Mrs Wilmot Henry Palk, widow of a grandson of the 2nd baronet, presumably lot 101 in the Robinson and Fisher sale, 13 March 1913. [7]

A statue, commissioned from Scheemakers in 1760, with those of Clive and Pocock for the East India company, was erected in 1764 in East India House. [8] The company also erected a bust by Taylor in Westminster Abbey.

1) C. R. Leslie and T. Taylor, Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1865, I, pp 189, 200, 283.
2) M. Cormack, 'The Ledgers of Sir Joshua Reynolds', Walpole Society, XLII, 1970, pp 126-27.
3) Information from Mrs Mildred Archer, India Office.
4) W. Foster, A Descriptive list of the paintings, statues and framed prints in the India Office, 5th edition, 1924, p 14.
5) M. Cormack, 'The Ledgers of Sir Joshua Reynolds', Walpole Society, XLII, 1970, p 105.
6) Sir Ellis K. Waterhouse, Reynolds (English Master Painters), 1941, p 48.
7) Letter, 1 July 1933, from Sir Evan Cotton, CIE, with photo, NPG archives.
8) W. Foster, A Descriptive list of the paintings, statues and framed prints in the India Office, 5th edition, 1924, p 26 (54).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.