Oil on canvas
Framed: 161 x 135 x 11 cm (63 3/8 x 53 1/8 x 4 5/16 in.); Unframed: 129 x 103 cm (50 13/16 x 40 9/16 in.)
Bequest of John L. Severance 1942.642
Lawrence was a child prodigy and largely self-taught. At the early age of 10, he made accomplished portraits in crayon.
Charlotte (left) and Sarah were 19 and 21, respectively, when this portrait was painted on the occasion of Sarah’s marriage to the topographer Daniel Lysons. The sisters wear fashionable gowns and jewelry, but their affectionate posture conveys a sisterly tenderness that transcends glamour. There was a seemingly insatiable demand for Thomas Lawrence’s portraits representing stylish English society, but he was notoriously slow working. Although this picture was begun in 1801, it still was not finished in 1806 when a friend noted its presence in the artist’s studio.
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