Portrait of a Gentleman c.1805
Sir Thomas Lawrence 1769-1830
Oil on Canvas 24 x 20 inches; 61 x 50.8 cm
Provenance: Marguerite Singer Smith, Connecticut, USA
© Philip Mould Fine Paintings
SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE "is known today as the last of the great English portraitists. He was a child prodigy who not only became the leading English artist of his age, but also one of the most renowned in Europe. His depiction of the Regency generation, in all its gauche excessiveness, remains a dazzling highlight of English art compared to the sober veneration of his Victorian followers. His death in 1830, the same year as that of George IV, coincided with society’s recoil from the ‘vulgarity’ of the late Georgian era, and its transformation, with hallowed austerity, into the earnest gloom of Victorians. And so the patrons of Lawrence’s successors began to demand portraits befitting the builders of a new empire; out went the swirling dramatism of Lawrence, and in came uprightness, black coats, and beards." More here.