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Sir Martin Archer Shee PRA, Portrait of the Artist's Son, William

Portrait of the Artist's Son, William, ca. 1820

Sir Martin Archer Shee PRA (1769 - 1850)

RA Collection: Art

Shee was born in Dublin and studied at the Royal Dublin Society before moving to London in 1788. There he became friends with Sir Thomas Lawrence and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1790. It was his work as a portrait painter which found him most success as well as his involvement with the running of the Royal Academy. He was elected President after Lawrence’s death in 1830.

This portrait is thought to depict the artist’s third and youngest son William (b.1810). Aged about 10 years old, he is posed in a Romantic landscape and dressed in a fashionable burgundy suit with high waisted trousers and a ruffled collar. Stylistically this painting owes much to Archer Shee’s contemporary, Lawrence, but it precedes his portrait of Master Lambton (Private Collection), popularly known as ‘The Red Boy’, by five years.

Object details

Title
Portrait of the Artist's Son, William
Artist/designer
Date
ca. 1820
Object type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions

762 mm x 635 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
03/606
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Mrs Eliza A. Dod 1894

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