Lady Louisa Harvey was the daughter of the 1st Earl of Nugent and wife of Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey, who led the Téméraire at the battle of Trafalgar. Her son Edward, pictured here, became a captain in the army and was killed at the siege of Burgos in 1812. In a document drawn up by Lawrence's executor at the time of the artist's death, the present painting was listed as '3 heads not finished', and was probably completed by a second hand.
Signature: With signature 'T Lawrence' (lower left)
Worcester, Worcester Art Museum, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Regency Painter: A Loan Exhibition of his Portraits, 27 April-6 June 1960, no. 7.
K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, 1954, pp. 42, 69, 70, 72- 73.
W.R. Valentiner, Catalogue of Paintings: Including Three Sets of Tapestries, Raleigh, 1956, p. 58, no. 95, as Lawrence.
C.W. Stanford, Masterpieces in the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 1966, no. 9, as Lawrence.
The North Carolina Museum of Art, British Paintings to 1900: Catalogue of Paintings, Raleigh, 1969, II, pp. 58-59, no. 93, as Lawrence.
E. P. Brown, ed., Introduction to the Collections, Chapel Hill, 1983, pp. 122-123, as Lawrence.
K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Oxford, 1989, p. 392, no. 394, as '3 heads not finished'.
PROPERTY OF THE NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITIONS FUND
Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey, Rolls Park, Chigwell, Essex, by descent to Mr. and Mrs. William Lloyd, Aston Hall, Oswestry, Shropshire, by descent to William Lloyd, Aston Hall, Oswestry, Shropshire.
The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 1952.
About Thomas Lawrence
Thomas Lawrence was a prodigiously talented draughtsman, first noticed at the age of ten for his uncanny ability to draw people’s likenesses. At 20, he received his first major commission for a portrait, and quickly became one of the preeminent portrait artists in England with the blessing and encouragement of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Lawrence made portraits in pastel and oil paint, and his pencil drawings were in high demand as well. He was lauded for his ability to paint rich colors and textures, as well as for his theatrical and expressive compositions. His usual process was to make a detailed drawing of his subject’s head or the whole figure onto the canvas and paint over it. Lawrence personally expressed his interest in history painting, but could never devote his time to the pursuit.
British, 1769-1830, Bristol, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom