SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE P.R.A.
Portrait of Sir Francis Burdett
Susan, Countess of Guildford
Sotheby’s, 10th July, 1986
Private Collection, UK
R. S. Gower, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, 1900, p.113
M.W. Patterson, Sir Francis Burdett and his Times, 1931, repr. frontispiece
K. Garlick, A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Walpole Society, 1964, vol 39, p.218
K. Garlick, A Complete Catalogue of the Oil-Paintings, Oxford, 1989, p.159
This large drawing is related to the oil painting of Sir Francis Burdett (measuring 98 ½ x 56 ½ in.) now in the National Portrait Gallery and is one of the finest drawings by Lawrence left in private hands. Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844) began his career in Parliament in 1796 when he was elected Member for Boroughbridge. He became a prominent political reformer on issues including excessive war taxation, corporal punishment in the Army, restraints against public expression, mistreatment of prisoners and Parliamentary corruption.
Burdett returned to London from Paris in 1793, the year the oil painting was begun, to marry Miss Sophia Coutts. The commission may have been connected with this impending marriage. In 1952 the painting was bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 3820) by the Rt. Hon. William Ashmead Bartlett Burdett-Coutts.