Largely self-taught, Sir Thomas Lawrence was a child prodigy and at the age of 10 he was making accomplished portraits in pastel. At the age of eighteen he moved to London and entered the Royal Academy Schools. He quickly established his reputation as a portrait painter in oils, receiving his first royal commission, a portrait of Queen Charlotte, in 1790. Known for his gift of capturing a likeness, as well as his handling of paint, Lawrence created the image of Regency high-society with dazzling brushwork and an innovative use of colour.
In 1792, Lawrence became the King’s official Painter-in-Ordinary, completing several portraits of the monarch. His flattering and glamorous portraits proved highly popular and, from the 1790s onwards, he was kept busy with a constant stream of commissions from the rich and famous. In 1814, Lawrence was given a prestigious commission by the Prince Regent to paint the allied leaders involved in the defeat of Napoleon. Lawrence became an associate of the Royal Academy in 1791, a full member in 1794, and president in 1820.
Lawrence’s sitters embody the romantic glamour associated with the Regency period and he is particularly remembered as the Romantic portraitist of the Regency era. In the portrait shown here, he beautifully captures the likeness of leading British operative performer, Mary Ann Paton, renown for her performances in Weber's 'Der Freischütz’ and ‘Oberon’ in 1824 and 1826, respectively.
Mary Ann Patton was born in Edinburgh in October 1802 and made her first appearances as a singer at the age of 8 years old. Paton's family settled in London in 1811. In 1822, she joined the Haymarket Company in London, where her performances included Susanna in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, the Countess in the same opera, Rosina in ‘The Barber of Seville’, Lydia in George Frederick Perry's ‘Morning, Noon, & Night’, & Polly in ‘The Beggar's Opera’. Paton's reputation for operatic excellence grew dramatically after her performances in Weber's 'Der Freischütz’ as Agatha, 1824, & ‘Oberon’ as Rezia, 1826. She continued to perform operas in London for many years and completed threes successful tours in America.
We are delighted to offer this beautifully captured portrait in our Wednesday 30 October auction, 'The Classic Tradition', taking place in London.
AUCTION | The Classic Tradition : European Art from 15th to 19th Centuries | Wednesday 30 October at 1pm | London
VIEWING | Mon 28 October 10am - 5pm | Tues 29 October 10am - 5pm | Morning of the sale from 9am
LOCATION | 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH