Sir Thomas Lawrence

Mary Hamilton (1789)

This important drawing of Mary Hamilton is arguably the most beautiful female portrait of its type remaining in England. Lawrence was great friends with William Hamilton (1751-1801), a history and portrait painter and Royal Academician. They used to draw together in the evenings from antique casts while William’s wife Mary read to them ‘either poetry, history, or works of the imagination’. This portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1789, when Lawrence was only 20 years old. Drawn in pencil and red and black chalk, the portrait was completed as a framed finished work intended for public exhibition and later to be hung on display in a house.

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    Sir Thomas Lawrence Mary Hamilton (1789)
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