Portrait of a Lady

about 1793

Object

Artist

Thomas Lawrence, English, 1769-1830
Born: Bristol or England

Object Info

Object: painting
Currently on view
Object ID: 2019.15

Medium/Technique

Oil paint on paper mounted on canvas

Credit

Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

More Info

Dimensions

image height: 30 in, 76.2000 cm; image width: 25 in, 63.5000 cm; frame height: 43 1/8 in, 109.5375 cm; frame width: 38 1/2 in, 97.79 cm; frame depth: 3 1/2 in, 8.89 cm

Department

Painting and Sculpture

Collection

Painting & Sculpture-European

Known Provenance

Lady Margaret Beaumont (1756–1829); given by her to the Miss Copleys, May 13, 1827 (according to an inscription on the reverse of the original canvas); the Groult Collection, Paris, by 1905; by descent in the family of M. and Mme. Camille Groult, Paris; from whom acquired by Derek Johns Ltd., London, 1998; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver, 1998; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2019. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Caption

Sir Thomas Lawrence 
British, 1769–1830
Portrait of a Lady, early 1790s   
Oil paint on paper mounted on canvas  
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2019.15

Extended Info

Painted when Lawrence was in his early twenties, around the time he was named painter to George III, Portrait of a Lady displays the naturalism and freshness that distinguished him from his peers and made him the most sought-after portrait painter in Europe. The sitter is unknown, though she was once thought to be Lady Cecil Hamilton, a member of a long-established Scottish noble family. Lawrence records the features of her face with dazzling precision while her hair and dress are loosely brushed and the background formed of a dusky halo of zig-zag strokes. The sketchy quality of the picture suggests that Lawrence may have intended it as a preparation for a more finished portrait, which has yet to come to light. 
 

Exhibition History

  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018