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Thomas Lawrence

Portrait of Miss Harriet Maria Day


Thomas Lawrence
Bristol, England, 1769 – London 1830


Portrait of Miss Harriet Maria Day




Oil on canvas


77.1 x 63.8 cm


Mrs. Charles Meredith Bequest, inv. 1936.656


Western Art

Lawrence was largely self-trained, but his facility as a portraitist was such that he had achieved the Presidency of the Royal Academy in England. When the twenty-two-year-old artist sent this picture of Miss Day to the Royal Academy in 1791, he was already well established as a society painter. Harriet Day was the daughter of Benjamin Day of Yarmouth and Norwich, and the mother of a translator of Dante. She married Ichobod Wright in 1794 and died in 1843. In this portrait, anticipating the Romantic movement, the heightened sensibility of the subject to the beauties of the natural world is suggested by the expression on her face as she contemplates her surroundings.

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