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Regency Portraits Catalogue

Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy

The self-portraits are listed in Kenneth Garlick's 'Catalogue of the paintings, drawings and pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence', Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, 1964, pp 122-3 and 232-3.

c.1781
Self-portrait in a private collection, oval pencil drawing as a boy with hair on shoulders, inscribed: Drawn by himself at 12 years of age 1781, H. Bloxam, Ellesmere, Salop … A similar sketchier drawing with a long inscription is at Burghley House (Kenneth Garlick, 'Catalogue of the paintings, drawings and pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence', Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, 1964, p 232/1-2). A pastel self-portrait is at The Vyne, Hampshire, and another with Sidney Sabin, London c.1975.

Oil self-portrait (or possibly by Prince Hoare) at Petworth House (66), whole-length standing in green coat and breeches holding a book, identity doubtful.

c.1786
Oil self-portrait, oval standing in dark red coat and white stock (Kenneth Garlick, 'Catalogue of the paintings, drawings and pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence', Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, 1964, p 122/1).

1793-4
Miniature by T. Hargreaves exhibited SKM 186 (410); Hargreaves was articled to Lawrence from March 1793 until c.1795.

1794
Chalk drawing by G. Dance in Royal Academy library, undated but confirmed by the entry in Farington's Diary, 2 February 1794.

1795
Oil by Singleton 'The Royal Academicians in General Assembly', engraved by Bestland 1802.

c.1801
Miniature by Robertson still in the Robertson family collection in Scotland, perhaps that lent by Jeffery Whitehead to Burlington Fine Arts Club, Miniatures, 1889 (4) and Exhibition of the Royal House of Guelph, New Gallery, 1891 (94); Robertson came to London from Edinburgh and entered the RA Schools in October 1801. (Daphne Foskett, Dictionary of British Miniature Painters, 2 vols., 1972).

1803
Life-mask. This was taken in about 1803 and at Lawrence's death it was drawn from three aspects by R. J. Lane for the then owner Mrs Denham (R. J. Lane’s accounts and letters, March 1830, I, p 23); a Mrs Denham was the daughter of John Flaxman so it may be that the mask was taken by Flaxman himself. Lane's lithograph of the three aspects was published by Colnaghi in April 1830, lettered: The Sleeping and the Dead are but as Pictures/Shakespeare/From a Plaster-cast taken at the age of Thirty-four, in the Possession of an attached Friend/Drawn on Stone by R. J. Lane. The location of the mask itself is unknown.

1804
Miniature self-portrait at Croft Castle, possibly that engraved in colour stipple by F. C. Lewis, 'Sir Thos Lawrence PRA Aged 35', published by Colnaghi, 1 June 1831.

c.1804
Self-portrait drawing, half-length facing in a coat with full collar and loose cravat, engraved by Worthington for D. E. Williams, Life and Correspondence of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Kt., 1831, I, frontispiece (Kenneth Garlick, 'Catalogue of the paintings, drawings and pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence', Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, 1964, p 233/3).

1812
Chalk self-portrait lithographed by Lane 1830 'from a Drawing made by Himself in the Year 1812/Published with the Concurrence of the Family'.

Bronze bust by Gahagan in National Gallery of Ireland (8068), incised: L. Gahagan/Fecit 1812.

1820-30
The following undated portraits were all taken between Lawrence's election as PRA in March 1820 and his death in January 1830:

Drawing by Brockedon (NPG 2515(21)).

Oil by Charles Landseer engraved by Thomson for Jerdan's National Portrait Gallery, 1831, half-length facing with left hand partially concealing PRA's medal (King's head to left).

Watercolour drawing by Maclise in V&A Museum (Forster, 88).

Ink drawing by Mulready in V&A Museum (9167), 2 small heads on one sheet, frontal and profile to left.

Drawing by W. C. Ross exhibited RA 1830 (7) and lithograph printed by Hullmandel, half-length seated facing, chain and PRA's medal half hidden by lapel (George IV's head to left).

Oil by Charles Turner known from Turner's own mezzotint pub. 1 February 1830, half-length facing in dark suit, PRA's chain and medal (George IV's head to right).

c.1820
Portrait by an unknown artist engraved in stipple by W. T. Fry and published January 1821 'from an Original Painting', head to right, frame decorated with cupids, palette and Masonic emblems.

c.1825
Unfinished oil self-portrait in the Royal Academy. There are many copies and copyists' variants of this including NPG 260 (Kenneth Garlick, 'Catalogue of the paintings, drawings and pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence', Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, 1964, pp 122-3/2).

1827
Drawing by Wollaston, profile to left, engraved.

1828
Drawing by Chalon, 'sketched from memory by A. E. Chalon R.A. in 1828', head and shoulders to right lithographed by Gauci, dedicated to M. A. Slice and published by Dickinson May 1830.

1830 and posthumous
Death-mask and right hand plaster casts (NPG 1634).

Marble bust by Baily (NPG 239) with medal copies by Parker and Clint (NPG 1507 and 4278) and Adams.

Oil by James Green, 'Portraits of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Benjamin West Esq. and Sir Thomas Lawrence, the deceased Presidents of the Royal Academy', exhibited RA 1830 (490) and with Frost & Reed in 1955.

Plaster bust by Joseph exhibited RA 1830 (1205) 'to be executed in Marble'; it was used for the recto of Clint's medal (see NPG 4278) but no marble version is known; a bronze was at Phillips 30 March 1981 (258).

Marble bust by Christopher Moore exhibited RA 1831 (1219), 'posthumous Bust chiefly from memory', and SBA 1832 (836).

Bust by C. A. Rivers exhibited RA 1833 (1162).

Marble bust by Sievier in the Soane Museum 'modelled from remembrance two months after Sir Thomas's decease', exhibited RA 1830 (1216) and SBA 1831 (890) and presented in 1830 to Soane who considered it an excellent likeness (Bolton, Portrait of Sir John Soane R.A., 1927, p 492 and plate 43).

An undated pastel attributed to Charles Turner was offered to the NPG in 1932, whole-length standing in studio with whole-length portrait of the Prince Regent in Garter robes; half-length copy was at Sotheby's 17 May 1972 (102) attributed to Jackson.

A large steel engraving entitled 'The Private Sitting Room of Sir Thomas Lawrence' was published 'for the Proprietor Mr Keightley' 1 December 1830; Archibald Keightley was Lawrence's sole executor. It shows him standing in the room surrounded by his casts of which he was justifiably proud - 'I have myself a very good collection of the best casts from the antique statues' he told the Committee on the Elgin Marbles Inquiry in 1816 (MacDonnell, Dictionary of National Biography, XXXII, p 283). A similar collection was housed in the Royal Academy and can be seen in Singleton's 'Royal Academicians'. A drawing of Lawrence's studio by Mrs Charles Calmady c.1824 was engraved by F. C. Lewis, reproduced Michael Levey, Sir Thomas Lawrence, NPG, 1979, p 11.



This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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.