Lawrence, Andrew (DNB00)

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LAWRENCE, ANDREW (1708–1747), engraver, known in France as André Laurent, was born in College Court, Westminster, in 1708. He was a natural son of Andrew Lawrence, apothecary to Queen Anne. While yet a child he showed a marked aptitude for art, and was placed under the tuition of Mons. Regnier, a drawing-master and printseller in Newport Street, Soho. He appears to have been a youth of ability, for besides painting in oil and drawing in crayons, he soon acquired a good knowledge of Latin, French, Italian, and German, and became proficient in music, especially on the violin and flute, and in every branch of science which could be of advantage to an artist. The death of his father placed him in possession of an ample fortune, but unfortunately he fell under the influence of one Riario, who induced him to experiment on the transmutation of the baser metals into gold. He soon lost his fortune, and left England a ruined man. He went first to Bologna, and thence to Paris, where he studied engraving under Philippe Le Bas, who employed him to etch plates for the scanty remuneration of thirty sous, or fifteenpence, a day. His etchings are executed with great taste, and among them are the 'Halte d'Officiers,' 'Les Sangliers forcés,' and 'Halte de Cavalerie' after Wouwerman, 'Le Soir' after Berchem, and 'Le Courrier de Flandres' after Both, which were finished, but not always improved, by Le Bas. He afterwards worked for Arthur Pond, the portrait-painter and engraver, and etched plates which were completed by Jean Auaran. One of these was 'La Moisson' after Wouwerman. He executed thirty-five works in all, of which 'Saul consulting the Witch of Endor,' after Salvator Rosa, was wholly engraved by him. He likewise etched 'Les Adieux' after Wouwerman, 'La Conversation.' 'L'Hiver,' and 'Le Joueur de Quilles' after Teniers, and also after Wouwerman 'The Death of the Staff.' which was finished by Thomas Major, who left in manuscript a memoir of Lawrence, written in 1785.

Lawrence died in Paris on 8 July 1747, and was buried in a timber-yard outside the Porte St.-Antoine, then the usual place of interment for heretics. Nagler (Künstler-Lexicon, vii. 334) and Le Blanc (Manuel de l'Amateur d'Estampes, ii. 605) are wrong in ascribing to this engraver 'La Bénédicité,' after Greuze, and some other plates, which are the work of Pierre Laurent.

[Athenæum, 1869, ii. 505; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Graves, 1886–9; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Basan's Dictionnaire des Graveurs, 1789, i. 312; Nagler's Monogrammisten, 1868–79, i. 364.]

R. E. G.