barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)

A Portrait of a Lady

London, the early 1790s

Oil on canvas

73.6 x 60.9 cm


The sitter’s identity has unfortunately been lost, but stylistic and costume evidence suggests a date in the early 1790s. 

Lawrence had just then arrived in London where he achieved instant success at the Royal Academy’s exhibition, setting him on his career as the most fashionable portraitist of the day.  The artist’s use of paint in this half-length portrait is marked by a typical virtuosity which set him apart from his contemporaries.  He uses a characteristic touch of white in the eyes and on the lips to enliven the face.


Purchased 1958 (No.58.8)

Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641)

Lucas Vorsterman


Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)

Louis XIV


Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677)

Queen Henrietta Maria