William Holman Hunt (b. 2 April 1827 in Cheapside, London – d. 7
September 1910 in Kensington, London) was a British painter. He was one of the
founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.William Holman Hunt (b. 2 April 1827
in Cheapside, London – d. 7 September 1910 in Kensington, London) was a British
painter. He was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Sir Thomas Lawrence RA (April 13, 1769 – January 7, 1830), was a notable
English painter, mostly of portraits.
He was born in Bristol. His father was an innkeeper, first at Bristol and
afterwards at Devizes, and at the age of six Lawrence was already being shown
off to the guests of the Bear as an infant prodigy who could sketch their
likenesses and declaim speeches from Milton. In 1779 the elder Lawrence had to
leave Devizes, having failed in business and Thomas's precocious talent began to
be the main source of the family's income; he had gained a reputation along the
Bath road. His debut as a crayon portrait painter was made at Oxford, where he
was well patronized, and in 1782 the family settled in Bath, where the young
artist soon found himself fully employed in taking crayon likenesses of
fashionable people at a guinea or a guinea and a half a head. In 1784 he gained
the prize and silver-gilt palette of the Society of Arts for a crayon drawing
after Raphael's "Transfiguration," and presently beginning to paint in oil.
A portrait of Elizabeth Farren by Thomas Lawrence
Abandoning the idea of going on the stage which he had briefly entertained,
Lawrence came to London in 1787, was kindly received by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and
became a student at the Royal Academy. He began to exhibit almost immediately,
and his reputation increased so rapidly that he became an associate of the
Academy in 1791. The death of Sir Joshua in 1792 opened the way to further
successes. Lawrence was at once appointed painter to the Dilettanti Society, and
principal painter to King George III in lieu of Reynolds. In 1794 he was a Royal
Academician, and he became the fashionable portrait painter of the age, his
sitters including England's most notable people, and ultimately most of the
crowned heads of Europe. Caroline of Brunswick was one of his favourite
subjects, and is reputed to have been his lover for a time.Financial difficulty
Financial problems plagued Lawrence. In 1796, Francis Mackenzie, 1st Baron
Seaforth, one of Lawrence's close patrons, gave him £1,000 (an enormous sum at
the time) to relieve him from his financial difficulties. Lawrence painted
several portraits for Lord Seaforth, including a full-length portrait of
Seaforth's daughter, Mary.
In 1815 Lawrence was knighted; in 1818 he went to Aachen to paint the
sovereigns and diplomats gathered there for the third congress, and visited
Vienna and Rome, everywhere receiving flattering marks of distinction from
princes, due as much to his courtly manners as to his merits as an artist. After
eighteen months he returned to England, and on the very day of his arrival was
chosen president of the Academy in room of Benjamin West, who had died a few
days before. He held the office from 1820 to his death. He was never married.
Portrait of Marguerite, Countess of Blessington, 1819.
Sir Thomas Lawrence had all the qualities of personal manner and artistic
style necessary to make a fashionable painter, and among English portrait
painters he takes a high place, though not as high as that given to him in his
lifetime. His more ambitious works, in the classical style, such as his once
celebrated "Satan," are practically forgotten.
The best display of Lawrence's work is in the Waterloo Gallery of Windsor, a
collection of much historical interest. "Master Charles William Lambton" (1825),
painted for Lord Durham at the price of 600 guineas, is regarded as one of his
best portraits, and a fine head in the National Gallery, London, shows his power
to advantage. The Life and Correspondence of Sir T. Lawrence, by DE
Williams, appeared in 1831.
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