Saturday, April 14, 2018

Thomas Lawrence. (April 13, 1769-January 1, 1830). Pictorial chronicler of the Regency

Lady Peel, 1827

Pinkie. How many of us had this poster on our bedroom walls when we were children? 

Elizabeth Farren, Actress, then Countess of Derby
Thomas Lawrence (Born April 13, 1769) was a child prodigy. His rather ran an inn and the young Thomas sketched all the passengers. By the age of 10, he was supporting his family with his pastel portraits. At eighteen, he went to London and established his reputation by his portrait of Queen Charlotte. Self-taught, he stayed at the top of his profession until his death at the age of 60 (January 1, 1830).

He was the pictorial chronicler of the Regency, the President of the Royal Academy, always popular but always in debt and unhappy in love.

"...Lawrence was painting his own generation, and effectively bringing it on to the stage of history. He supplied them with stormy or melodramatic backgrounds, dashed in with fast, free brushstrokes, as if liberating them from an old world of conventions. In contrast with the previous generation of artists – the smoothness of Reynolds, or the feather-light touch of Gainsborough – he rendered their clothes with thickly applied paint, strongly contrasted colours, and glittering, almost metallic, highlights. With these techniques, Lawrence expressed a new age of patriotism, flamboyance and bold individuality."

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