Thomas Lawrence

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Thomas Lawrence – a child prodigy

Thomas Lawrence was the most successful painter of the Romantic age. He was born in 1769 and was the leading British portrait painter of the early 19th century, portraying most of the important personalities of the day in his different and flattering style. He was a self-taught child prodigy. At the age of ten, he was making perfect portraits in crayons. Joshua Reynolds influenced him. He took up painting in 1786 and became a student at the royal academy. In 1787, when Thomas was just 19, he produced his first portrait and exhibited it. In 1794 he also became a member of the academy and Painter-in-Ordinary to the King (George III) on the death of Reynolds in 1792. In 1815 became President of the Academy. He was very successful in financial terms and made a great deal of money. Lawrence was also a collector and formed one of the finest collections of Old Master drawings that known.

The leading English portrait painter

He was known as a portrait painter, he also painted historical paints, but it did not achieve that success as much as his other artworks. After some years, when other painters made paintings, he lost his charm in people's minds and after that struggled the rest of his life for money, after his death in 1830his collection of master drawings, which also include Raphael Michelangelo, was offered at a very affordable price first to the king and then to the government. Now his works are represented in the hermitage, the metropolitan museum of art, and Tate gallery. 

Famous artwork

  • Homer reciting his poems in 1790
  • John Jeffreys Pratt, in 1802
  • Sir Henry Halford, in 1830 
  • William van mildhert, in 1829
  • Charles Greenwood, in 1828
  • Mrs. Alice wood, in 1830George IV, in 1820
  • George Gordon Noel, lord byron, poet,( time unknown)