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George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen (1784-1860)

Sir Thomas Lawrence

George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen (1784-1860)


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ArtistSir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)
EngraverSamuel Cousins (1801-1887)
TitleGeorge Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen (1784-1860)
Date1831
MediumMezzotint
ProvenanceBequeathed to 10 Downing Street by Sir Edward Walter Hamilton, 1908
AcquisitionBequeathed by Sir Edward Walter Hamilton, 1908
LocationUK, London, Downing Street
GAC number0/20/35
 

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Sir Thomas Lawrence

Sir Thomas Lawrence was born in Bristol; the son of a supervisor of excise. In 1773 the family moved to Wiltshire to run a coaching inn but financial difficulties led them to move again to Bath, where Lawrence first worked as a portraitist. He may have had lessons from William Hoare, before enrolling at the Royal Academy schools in 1787. Aged 20, he received a royal commission for portraits of Queen Charlotte (1789-90) and Princess Amelia (1789). At 23 he replaced Reynolds as Painter-in-Ordinary and at 25, became a Royal Academician. Despite such success, he never escaped crippling debt. In 1815 he was knighted and commissioned to paint the Waterloo Chamber series of portraits. He replaced West as President of the Royal Academy in 1820.

Samuel Cousins

Samuel Cousins was a well known mezzotint engraver of portraits and decorative subjects after his contemporaries and 18th-century British artists. Born in Exeter, he was the pupil of, and assistant to, the engraver S. W. Reynolds. Cousins set up his own business in London in 1825 and would later become the first engraver to be elected a Royal Academician. He engraved plates after the foremost artists of his day including Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873), Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873). His younger brother Henry Cousins (c.1809-1864) was also a mezzotint engraver.