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Painted for the sitter; by descent to his son, Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th marquess of Hertford [1800-1870], London and Paris; bequeathed 1870 to his illegitimate son, Richard Wallace [1818-1890, created Sir Richard Wallace, Bt. in 1871], London and Paris; by inheritance to his wife, Julie-Amélie-Charlotte Castelnau, Lady Wallace [1819-1897], Paris and London; bequeathed to her adviser and secretary, John Murray Scott [1847-1912, created Sir John Murray Scott, Bt., in 1899]; (his estate sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 27 June 1913, no. 109); bought by (E.M. Hodgkins) and (Blakeslee Galleries, New York). (sale, American Art Association, New York, 21-23 April 1915, 3rd day, no. 221); bought by (Otto Bernet) for George Grant Mason [1870-1955], Tuxedo Park, New York; by descent to G. Grant Mason, Jr., Arlington, Virginia; gift 1968 to NGA.

Technical Summary

The medium-weight canvas is plain woven; it was lined in 1968. The ground is white. There is a very thin and transparent warm brown imprimatura. The painting is rapidly and deftly executed in fluid, opaque layers, blended wet into wet, the light passages in rich paint, the dark areas much thinner. X-radiographs show that the ring suspended from the sitter's waist has been shifted slightly to the left. The sitter's right hand is heavily retouched; the retouching lies over the remains of black, suggesting that the hand had been painted out by the artist, that the artist's black paint was removed during a subsequent restoration, and that the form then had to be reintegrated. The paint is somewhat solvent abraded in the background and in the pure blacks, and the impasto was very slightly flattened during lining. There is extensive retouching in the background, and scattered retouching carried out in 1968. The dammar varnish applied in 1968 has not discolored.

Armstrong, Sir Walter. Lawrence. London, 1913: 139.
Garlick, Kenneth. Sir Thomas Lawrence. London, 1954: 42.
Garlick, Kenneth. "A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence." The Walpole Society 39 (1964): 105.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 190, repro., as Marquis of Hertford.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 222, repro., as Marquis of Hertford
Garlick, Kenneth. Sir Thomas Lawrence: A Complete Catalogue of the Oil Paintings. Oxford, 1989: no. 404, repro.
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 158-160, repro. 159.
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