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Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA, letters to the Angerstein family

RA Collection: Archive

Archive context

Showing item 37 of 73 in this group

Reference code



Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA, letters to the Angerstein family





Extent & medium

18 items

Previous reference codes


Historical Background

The main group of Lawrence letters (LAW/1-9) should be consulted for a full biographical sketch of Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Lawrence became intimate with the family of John Julius Angerstein, collector, philanthropist and founder of Lloyds. The connection was initiated by Lawrence's earliest patron, William Lock. Angerstein's son, John, was married to Amelia, Locke's daughter.

Content Description

The letters are varied in content, reflecting both personal relationships and professional interests. Among the subjects touched upon are portrait commissions, family occasions and the fevered atmosphere of old master collecting. Two letters are of particular importance as they detail the acquisition, by Lawrence for the Academy, of the drawing, 'Leda and the Swan', then thought to be a work by Michelangelo, now attributed to Rosso Fiorentino.


This small group of letters was apparently not returned to Lawrence's executor on his death and so remained estranged from the large volumes compiled by Archibald Keightley.

Their provenance prior to acquisition in unknown.

Acquisition Details

The letters were purchased on 27th November, 1996 from Christies, lot number 126.


A chronological arrangement has been attempted. But this is hindered by a lack of dates and of strong internal evidence to assist in dating on some letters.