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Autographs volume 4

RA Collection: Archive

Archive context

Showing item 4 of 9 in this group

Reference code



Autographs volume 4





Extent & medium

1 volume

Content Description

Friendships made while in Europe continue to dominate to first half of this volume. Sequences of letters by Charles Vane-Stewart, Antonio Canova, Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire and Pietro Camuccini all carry great interest. In addition to this a significant sequence of correspondence with Charles Lock Eastlake reveals much of the early history of the British Academy in Rome. Lawrence's replies to Eastlake are written up as fair copies, not in Lawrence's hand. I have noticed that names are routinely scratched out, suggesting that these copies may have been made in preparation for a biography. Some letters show fragmentary pagination, further suggesting editing for publication.

Lawrence's painting practice continues to swell and the volume contains a liberal sprinkling of letters arranging sittings and complaints at unfinished portraits. Royal Academy business makes an appearance from time to time, but in the absence of Joseph Farington it is hard to construct any narrative other than Lawrence's centrality as a figure of influence.

The volume concludes with Lawrence's last trip abroad, to France on the orders of George IV who wished for portraits of King Charles X and the Dauphin.