John McEwen

Gilty Love

Sir Thomas Lawrence

By

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A small point of etiquette – why is it Sir Thomas Lawrence but not Sir Michael Levey? Sir Michael, of course, was knighted for his directorship of the National Gallery. And no one has done more to rescue the reputation of Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830), the most successful British portraitist of the nineteenth century: child prodigy, already in professional demand by the age of ten; Painter to the King at twenty-three in succession to Reynolds; Royal Academician at the youngest permissible age of twenty-five; and President of the RA for the last ten years of his life.

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