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Provenance

The sitter [1786-1852], Boston; his wife, Nancy Lawrence [d. 1866], Boston;[1] her son, William R. Lawrence [d. 1885], Brookline, Massachusetts.[2] his son, Francis W. Lawrence [d. 1903], Brookline, Massachusetts; his wife, Lucilla T. Lawrence [d. 1922], Brookline, Massachusetts.[3] her brother-in-law, Robert M. Lawrence, Boston; his cousin, the Rt. Rev. William Lawrence [d. 1941], Boston, by 1923;[4] his children;[5] gift 1944 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1845
Probably Nineteenth Exhibition of Paintings and Statuary, Boston Athenaeum, 1845, no. 24.
1861
Thirty-Seventh Exhibition of Paintings and Statuary, Boston Athenaeum, 1861, no. 354.
1862
Thirty-Eighth Exhibition of Paintings and Statuary, Boston Athenaeum, 1862, no. 45.
1985
A Truthful Likeness: Chester Harding and His Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, 1985, no. 38.
Bibliography
1856
Lawrence, William R., ed. Extracts from the Diary and Correspondence of the Late Amos Lawrence. Boston, 1856: viii.
1929
Harding, Chester. A Sketch of Chester Harding, Drawn by His Own Hand. Edited by Margaret E. White. New ed. Boston, 1929: 189, repro. opp. 190.
1943
Walker, John, and Macgill James. Great American Paintings from Smibert to Bellows 1729-1924. London and New York, 1943: 8, pl. 40.
1944
Richardson, Edgar P. American Romantic Painting. New York, 1944: 34, no. 58, repro.
1950
Flexner, James Thomas. "The Strange Case of Chester Harding." Antiques 57 (February 1950): 114, repro.
1952
Chester Harding 1792-1866. Exh. cat. Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. Springfield, Massachusetts, 1952: n.p.
1960
Mendelowitz, Daniel M. A History of American Art. New York, 1960: 282, repro. 281.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 327, repro.
1969
American Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 2 vols. Boston, 1969: 1:131.
1969
Gowans, Alan. "Painting and Sculpture." In Wendel D. Garrett, et al. The Arts in America: The Nineteenth Century. New York, 1969: 205, repro.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 64, repro.
1979
Faison, S. Lane, Jr. Williams College Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collection. Williamstown, 1979: n.p.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 168, repro.
1980
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980: 66, no. 14, color repro.
1981
Gerdts, William H. "Natural Aristocrats in a Democracy: 1810-1870." In Michael Quick, et al. American Portraiture in the Grand Manner, 1720-1920. Exh. cat. Los Angeles County Mus. of Art; Natl. Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. Los Angeles, 1981: 30.
1981
Williams, William James. A Heritage of American Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1981: 88, color repro. 94.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 394, no. 565, color repro.
1985
Lipton, Leah. A Truthful Likeness: Chester Harding and His Portraits. Exh. cat. National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville. Washington, D.C., 1985: 108-109, no. 38.
1988
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 76, no. 15, color repro.
1991
American Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Vol. 1. New York, 1991: 1:115.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 193, repro.
1994
Craven, Wayne. American Art: History and Culture. New York, 1994: 234, fig. 16.18
1996
Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 253-256, color repro.
Technical Summary

The support is a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric that has been lined. The smooth and off-white ground layer is almost completely covered by subsequent paint applied in fluid to pastelike consistencies. Low impasto is found in the red, green, and yellow highlighted portions of the robe and rug (the latter area somewhat flattened during a past lining process), and a rich, dark glaze has been used in the black and dark red shadows. The varnish has become somewhat yellowed.