Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA (1769 - 1830)
RA Collection: Art
Sir Thomas Lawrence was a child prodigy who became the leading British portrait painter of his generation. He entered the Royal Academy Schools aged eighteen, and in 1820 was elected President of the Royal Academy, a post he held until his death.
This unfinished self-portrait may be the one commissioned by George IV, in which he is supposed to have suggested that the artist wear 'the costume of his Doctor-of-laws gown' but not the cap as 'we shall not recognise you without your bald head'. If so, Lawrence has rather pointedly instead portrayed himself in everyday clothes without any props to embellish or elevate his image.
It shows the artist dramatically emerging from a dark background and is painted with all the technical virtuosity for which he was famed throughout Europe.
910 mm x 714 mm, Weight: 27.4 kg