Sold Without Reserve | SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE, P.R.A. | PORTRAIT OF WILLIAM HAMILTON, R.A., THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH; PORTRAIT OF MARY HAMILTON, R.A., THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH
SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE, P.R.A.
Bristol 1769 - 1830 London
PORTRAIT OF WILLIAM HAMILTON, R.A., THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH; PORTRAIT OF MARY HAMILTON, R.A., THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH
dated on the verso of the portrait of Mrs. Hamilton: Nov. 1788
a pair, both pastel on vellum
each sheet: 13¼ by 11 in.; 33.6 by 28 cm.
each framed: 19 by 16½ in.; 48.3 by 41.9 cm.
The work is executed on a large and well preserved sheet of vellum, framed as an oval, the verso of which is visible in the accompanying digital images to this lot. There is some very minor rubbing and small losses of pastel, particularly to the extremities, however the portrait itself remains in overwhelmingly good condition throughout, with beautiful passages of detail in the sitters face, cravat and gloved right hand. Sold in a sympathetic decorative giltwood frame. The glass is dirty and work would benefit from being reglazed.
The work is executed on a large and well preserved sheet of vellum, framed as an oval, the verso of which is visible in the accompanying digital images to this lot. As with its pendant there is some very minor rubbing and small losses of pastel particularly to the extremities. There is what appears to be an old and minor stain to the right side of her dress. The work remains in otherwise good condition throughout. Sold in a sympathetic decorative giltwood frame. The glass is dirty and work would benefit from being reglazed.
Please note that these condition reports were prepared with the works framed as is best practice for the handling of pastels. Neither work has been examined unframed.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 6 May 1910, lot 76;
Henri Stettiner, 1911;
Anonymous sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 14 December 2005 (as by Gardner).
K. Garlick, “A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence,” Walpole Society, XXXIX, 1964, p. 261;
N. Jeffares, "Sir Thomas Lawrence", Dictionary of pastellists before 1800, London, 2006; online edition [http://www.pastellists.com/articles/lawrence.pdf], updated 8 October 2019, cat. nos. J.466.22 and J.466.221.
Paris, Galerie Charles Brunner, Exposition des pastellistes anglais du xviiie siècle, 8 April - 5 June 1911, cat. nos. 80-81 (as gouache).
Executed only one year after the young Lawrence moved to London, this pair of pastels depicts the artist William Hamilton, R.A. (1751-1801) and his wife Mary, née Aylward (and later Mrs. John Charles Denham). Hamilton, who was known for his theatrical paintings of subjects derived from plays and poems, became an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1784 and was inducted as a full member a year after these portraits were painted, in 1789. Sadly, Hamilton died of a fever at the age of fifty; in his will he left his portrait by Lawrence to his wife Mary.
Lawrence was born in 1769 and was therefore less than twenty when he completed these portraits. Even at such a young age, he was admired for his precocious artistic talent. His parents ran a coaching inn near Bath and by the early 1780s he is known to have drawn travelers and their families who stopped at the inn. In 1787 he entered the Royal Academy in London, an institution of which he would later become president.