Elizabeth Farren, Later Countess of Derby by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1790 Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Edward S. Harkness, 1940 (50.135.5)


Until the 23rd of January 2011 – National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Lawrence was the greatest British portrait painter of his generation and one of the most celebrated artists in Europe in the early decades of the nineteenth century. This exhibition, the first in the UK for over thirty years, presents fifty-four works drawn from international public and private collections, some never before seen in public.

A key figure in the history of British art,the exhibition provides a fresh understanding of Lawrence’s career, exploring his astounding technical innovations, dazzling brushwork and bold use of colour through his greatest paintings and drawings.

Stunning early works such as the beautiful full-length painting of actress Elizabeth Farren and the striking Arthur Atherley, are shown alongside majestic and powerful portraits of international statesmen, society figures, military leaders and royalty, created at the height of his fame, such as Pope Pius VII, Princess Sophia and the Earl of Aberdeen.

Museum Hours