Sir Thomas Lawrence
- Extended catalogue entry
Regency Portraits Catalogue
Sir Thomas Lawrence
by Richard Evans, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
late 1820s, based on a work of circa 1825
36 1/4 in. x 28 in. (921 mm x 711 mm)
This portraitback to top
Lawrence's original self-portrait was begun c.1825 and remained unfinished at his death; it was sold Christie's 18 June 1831 (150), bought by Lord Chesterfield and sold by him to the Royal Academy where it is now; other copies and variants exist (Kenneth Garlick, ‘Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence’ in Walpole Society Journal, XXXIX, p 122).
Evans's copy is faithful to the original but smoother in texture and with the addition of palette and brushes. Writing of the original to Scharf in 1868 he said, 'I don't believe that the portrait of Lawrence was in the hands of any other person after it was sold until it fell from the easel in the drawing-room of the gentleman who bought it [Lord Chesterfield] when the mouth was much injured. William Seager told me that my portrait was worth double the price as being perfect ... It is possible that Seager may have made a copy for Mr Croker' (letter of 16 March 1868 in NPG archive). Evans offered his copy to the NPG together with a self-portrait of William Owen, now in the RA collection. Negotiations carried on until June, Evans apparently agreeing to add the palette and brushes: 'I shall willingly undertake the additional work required to make the picture of Lawrence complete and will take the earliest opportunity of coming to Town in order to effect it' (letter of 27 June 1868 in NPG archive).
Physical descriptionback to top
Head and shoulders facing holding palette and brushes in left hand; dark brown coat, white neckcloth; brown eyes, light brown hair, bald head, dark complexion; plain background.
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.
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