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Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A (Bristol 1769-1830 London)
Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A (Bristol 1769-1830 London)

Portrait of Anne, Viscountess Pollington, later Countess of Mexborough (d. 1870), with her son, John Charles (1810-99), later 4th Earl of Mexborough, full-length, she in a white dress with a rose at the bodice, with a pink and blue shawl, a draped red curtain beyond

Details
Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A (Bristol 1769-1830 London)
Portrait of Anne, Viscountess Pollington, later Countess of Mexborough (d. 1870), with her son, John Charles (1810-99), later 4th Earl of Mexborough, full-length, she in a white dress with a rose at the bodice, with a pink and blue shawl, a draped red curtain beyond
oil on canvas
93 x 56 in. (236.2 x 144.8 cm.)
Provenance
By descent to the Dowager Countess of Mexborough; Christie's, 14 December 1917, lot 86 (unsold).
Acquired from Thomas Agnew and Sons, London, in 1918 for £4,000, by Weetman Pearson, 1st Viscount Cowdray.
Literature
Lord R.S. Gower, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, 1899, p. 150.
A. Hare, The Story of My Life, London, 1900, VI, p. 360.
Sir W. Armstrong, Lawrence, London, 1913, p. 159.
K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, 1954, p. 163.
K. Garlick, 'A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence', Walpole Society, XXXIX, 1964, p. 163. C. Anson, Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Collection of The Viscount Cowdray, London, 1970, p. 5, no. 19 (in The Buck Hall).
K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Oxford, 1989, p. 254, no. 656.
M. Levey, Sir Thomas Lawrence, New Haven and London, 2005, pp. 262 and 284.
Exhibited
London, Royal Academy, 1821, no. 208.
London, British Institution, 1865, no. 174.

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Lot Essay

Viscountess Pollington was the eldest daughter of the politician Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke (1757-1834), who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1801) and served as the first Viceroy in post-union Ireland, and the great-granddaughter of the politician Philip, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764), who served as Lord Chancellor from 1737 to 1756. She married John Savile, Viscount Pollington, later 3rd Earl of Mexborough, in 1807. Her husband was also involved in politics, representing Pontefract in parliament (1807-26; and 1831-2). In this portrait she is shown with her eldest son John, Viscount Pollington, who succeeded his father as the 4th Earl of Mexborough in 1860. Garlick noted that 'Lawrence's procrastination in completing his commissioned works was notorious' and that 'Lord Pollington is quoted by Augustus Hare [op. cit.] as complaining that the baby in this group, which at the time of his writing was still unfinished, was by that time in the Guards', commenting further that 'while the story is no doubt exaggerated ... it is true that the boy was eleven when the group was finally exhibited'. This double portrait is one of Lawrence's most successful evocations of maternal love on a grand scale.

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