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Inscription

lower left: TBLawson / 1879

Provenance

The artist's son, Walter U. Lawson [d. 1923], New York, by 1890;[1] sold 28 April 1921 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York;[1] his estate; sold as part of the Clarke collection 29 January 1936, through (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1947 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1967
Loan for display with permanent collection, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1967-1980.
Bibliography
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 78, repro.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 193, repro.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 226, repro.
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: 416-418, repro.
Technical Summary

The support is a finely woven, light-weight, plain-weave fabric that remains unlined. The ground layer is moderately thick, smooth, and grayish white. The paint was applied painstakingly and thinly with smoothly blended brushstrokes throughout. There is some impasto in the highlighted areas and the strokes defining the watch chain are particularly small and high. There is only scattered inpainting, mostly in the face and in the beard, which appear to cover abrasion. The varnish is thick, dull, and has discolored.