Sir Thomas Lawrence
- Extended catalogue entry
Regency Portraits Catalogue
Sir Thomas Lawrence
by Edward Hodges Baily
27 1/2 in. (699 mm) high
Inscriptionback to top
Incised on back: E.H. BAILY. R.A./Sculpt London/1830
This portraitback to top
Lawrence died in January 1830. There is no record of his having sat for Baily and it may be that the bust was a rush job made in time for the RA exhibition that year and concocted from a combination of the death-mask (NPG 1634) and a life-mask taken from Lawrence's face at the age of 34 (see All Known Portraits 1803). Two other copies exist, in the Bristol City Art Gallery and in a London private collection, both signed and dated 1830. Baily's bust was used as a model for medallions by Parker and Clint) and for the medal by Adams issued by the Art-Union in 1860 (copy in NPG Reference Collection). The medal Lawrence wears on a chain in Baily's bust is not the Royal Academy Medal which bears the profile of George IV to left. It could be the special medal mentioned by Cosmo Monkhouse in the Dictionary of National Biography article on Lawrence: 'The King, in giving his sanction to the election, presented Lawrence with a gold chain and a medal of himself, inscribed From His Majesty George IV to the President of the Royal Academy.'
Physical descriptionback to top
Head and shoulders wearing cloak and medal on chain.
Provenanceback to top
Mr Farrar (or Farren); W. W. Pearce and sold by him to the NPG 1867.
Exhibitionsback to top
This or perhaps more likely the plaster original was at RA 1830 (1240); another was SBA 1831 (892).
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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