12 November 1996
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. (1769-1830)
Portrait of Sir Francis Burdett, Bart., small full-length, standing by a mantelpiece
pencil and red chalk, on two joined sheets
21¼ x 12½ in. (51 x 31.8 cm.)
Susan, Countess of Guildford.
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Gower, Lord Ronald Sutherland, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, 1900, p.113.
Amateur Art Exhibition, 1 Belgrave Square, London, 1898.
Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844) began his career in Parliament in 1796 when he was elected Member for Boroughbridge. He became a prominent political reformer on issues including excessive war taxation, corporal punishment in the Army, restraints against public expression, mistreatment of prisoners and Parliamentary corruption.
This drawing was a study for the oil painting of Sir Francis Burdett measuring 98½ x 56½ in. Burdett returned to London from Paris in 1793, the year the oil painting was begun, to marry Miss Sophia Coutts. The commission may have been connected with this impending marriage. In 1952 the painting was bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery by the Rt. Hon. William Ashmead Bartlett Burdett-Coutts.
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