Thursday, February 10, 2011

!00 paintings an artist should know, British portrait painters 14

33) John Johnstone, Betty Johnstone and Miss Wedderburn, by Sir Henry Raeburn 1756-1823
Another orphan Raeburn was trained as a goldsmith. Raeburn was actually Scottish not English.
A wealthy widow who sat for her portrait married him and he was a wealthy man. He used his wealth to travel to and study the great art of Italy. Upon his return to Scotland he became a successful portrait painter. Raeburns "square" touch and broadly rendered form are reminiscent of Valesquez.

Here is Miss Eleanor Urquhart, another Raeburn just for good measure.

34) Self portrait by Joshua Reynolds 1723-1792
One of ten children, Reynolds rose through tireless work to be the most famous portrait painter in an age and place obsessed with portraits. He painted all of the important leaders, generals and royals of his time. He is remembered for a series of speeches,"The discourses of Joshua Reynolds that have influenced generations of artists since. He never married and was known for a placid disposition and a quick sense of humor. Reynolds was a founding member and president of the Royal Academy.

35) The Calmady Children by Sir Thomas Lawrence 1769-1830
Lawrence was a child prodigy and was the most successful portrait painter of his era. He became a president of the Royal Academy. Lawrence supported his parents with his portraiture and despite earning large fees for his portraiture was his whole life in debt. Lawrence was known for a number of ill fated romantic liaisons that were the talk of his day.
Lawrence's fell in love with two sisters, first with Sally Siddons' and then her sister Maria, and then returned to Sally again. Neither sister was healthy enough to live very long; Maria died in 1798, on her deathbed made her sister promised never to marry Lawrence. Sally refused to see Lawrence again. She died just a few years later. Lawrence never married.
images from


PainterC said...

Cheers for mentioning Henry Raeburn! One of the most underrated portrait artist in history. Considering the artwork of the era, he was ahead of his time.

Check out his work at the Met if anyone is around New York.

Lucy said...

Wow, I don't recall hearing of Sir Thomas Lawrence. (but probably have seen them many times in museums).

I respect any artist who can paint squirming children.

Deb said...

these are so great, Stape. I especially love today's portraits, all of them. These are all artists I did not know by name, but I had seen the Calmady Children somewhere before and loved it. thanks again.

Bob Carter said...

Of all of Reynolds' self portraits, this is my favorite. Done when he was young, it has a freshness and sponteniety that is unique for his era. His wit shines through in the Discourses, dispite the rather ponderous sentence structures of the time. I keep a copy of the Discourses on my Android phone, and read them often at idle moments.

Bernie's Art said...

Great paintings !

If you are in London do not forget to visit the National Portrait gallery !

Deborah Paris said...

That Raeburn is gorgeous!

Barbara Carr said...

It was SO strange to see the Calmady kids; I just came across a jigsaw puzzle today of that painting while cleaning out old stuff. I've had it since I was about 6 or 7 - a LOT of years!
I'm really enjoying the art history lessons; thanks.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am very fond of Raeburn. I just bought a book about him.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am sure he used some form of anesthesia, maybe whiskey.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That picture has been reproduced a lot. I have also posted it once before.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The discourses on an android phone. Call Alvin Toffler!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Tell them to leave the light on for me and the key under the mat.

Stapleton Kearns said...


Stapleton Kearns said...

That picture has been reproduced so much, I have seen it on a book cover too.

Gowshika said...

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