Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lawrenson, Thomas

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LAWRENSON, THOMAS (fl. 1760–1777), painter, is stated to have been a native of Ireland. He first appears in 1760 as an exhibitor at the first exhibition of the Society of Artists, sending a portrait of himself; he was subsequently a regular exhibitor until 1777, sending portraits or miniatures. In 1774 he exhibited a portrait which he had executed in 1783. A portrait of Lawrenson was painted and engraved in mezzotint by his son (see below). He drew and published a large engraving of Greenwich Hospital. Lawrenson signed the roll of the Society of Incorporated Artists in 1766, and is first styled a fellow of the society in 1774. He lived in Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury. There is a portrait by him of John O'Keeffe in the National Portrait Gallery.

Lawrenson, William (fl. 1760–1780), painter, son of the above, resided with his father. In 1760 and 1761 he obtained premiums from the Society of Arts. He was, like his father, a fellow of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and signed their roll in 1766. He first exhibited with them in 1762, sending a portrait. In 1763 and 1764 he sent portraits to the Free Society of Artists, but in 1766 returned to the former exhibition and continued to exhibit there till 1772, mostly crayon portraits, including in 1771 one of William Smith the actor as 'Iachimo,' which he engraved himself in mezzotint, and in 1769 one of Mrs. Baddeley. From 1774 till 1780 he exhibited at the Royal Academy. Many of his pictures were engraved, including Ann Catley [q. v.] as 'Euphrosyne by R. Dunkarton, Signora Sestini by John Jones, Benjamin West by W. Pether, Sir Eyre Coote by J. Walker, 'A Lady Haymaking,' 'Palemon and Lavinia,' 'Rosalind and Celia,' 'Cymon and Iphigenia' by John Raphael Smith. It is not known when he or his father died.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760-1880; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; Catalogues of the Society of Artists, &c.]

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