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  • This elegant portrait is a testament to the relationship of mutual respect and friendship between the artist and his subject, George James Welbore Agar-Ellis (1797–1833). Agar-Ellis, a politician and art lover, had persuaded the British government to purchase the Angerstein collection of paintings (which Lawrence had effectively curated) as the nucleus for the National Gallery. Lawrence and Agar-Ellis established a firm friendship based on mutual regard, and the artist was later commissioned to paint Agar-Ellis’s wife and young son in a charming double portrait (1827–28; private collection). Agar-Ellis served as one of Lawrence’s pallbearers. The virtuosity of this portrait can in part be explained by the extraordinary amount of time and labor that Lawrence invested in it. Twelve sittings are recorded in Agar-Ellis’s diary between October 1823 and May 1824, several lasting for three or more hours (Northamptonshire Records Office, Annaly of Holdenby Collection, ref. X1384). The sitter’s handsome features are complimented by a masterfully painted costume of velvet and fur, referred to in Agar-Ellis’s diary as a “crimson =Titian-like pelisse,” which Lawrence had personally selected for the portrait. The face is painted smoothly in comparison with the slash of blue ribbon and the bristling fur. A second white highlight glimmers in Agar-Ellis’s right pupil, a trick that Lawrence used to suggest the glassy moisture of the human eye with remarkable fidelity. Considered the consummate portrayer of female beauty, Lawrence here delineates an equally compelling vision of masculinity. The portrait—a study in soft curves, beginning with the sitter’s mop of brown curls and his delicately crimped pinky finger and extending through his relaxed posture—proves that Lawrence’s penchant for sinuous torsos and sloping shoulders was not reserved for his female sitters.
?:PX_curatorial_comment
  • This elegant portrait is a testament to the relationship of mutual respect and friendship between the artist and his subject, George James Welbore Agar-Ellis (1797–1833). Agar-Ellis, a politician and art lover, had persuaded the British government to purchase the Angerstein collection of paintings (which Lawrence had effectively curated) as the nucleus for the National Gallery. Lawrence and Agar-Ellis established a firm friendship based on mutual regard, and the artist was later commissioned to paint Agar-Ellis’s wife and young son in a charming double portrait (1827–28; private collection). Agar-Ellis served as one of Lawrence’s pallbearers. The virtuosity of this portrait can in part be explained by the extraordinary amount of time and labor that Lawrence invested in it. Twelve sittings are recorded in Agar-Ellis’s diary between October 1823 and May 1824, several lasting for three or more hours (Northamptonshire Records Office, Annaly of Holdenby Collection, ref. X1384). The sitter’s handsome features are complimented by a masterfully painted costume of velvet and fur, referred to in Agar-Ellis’s diary as a “crimson =Titian-like pelisse,” which Lawrence had personally selected for the portrait. The face is painted smoothly in comparison with the slash of blue ribbon and the bristling fur. A second white highlight glimmers in Agar-Ellis’s right pupil, a trick that Lawrence used to suggest the glassy moisture of the human eye with remarkable fidelity. Considered the consummate portrayer of female beauty, Lawrence here delineates an equally compelling vision of masculinity. The portrait—a study in soft curves, beginning with the sitter’s mop of brown curls and his delicately crimped pinky finger and extending through his relaxed posture—proves that Lawrence’s penchant for sinuous torsos and sloping shoulders was not reserved for his female sitters.
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  • Alternate title :: George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, later 1st Lord Dover
  • Alternate title :: George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, later first Lord Dover
  • Bibliograpic reference ::
  • Bibliograpic reference :: British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 250-1, fig. 31, N5220 M552 A7 1977 OVERSIZE (YCBA) , Published as April 1977 issue of Apollo; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 105:2 +]
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Catherine M. Gordon, British paintings Hogarth to Turner, Frederick Warne, London, 1981, p. 40, ND466 G67 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Clements R. Markham, Markham memorials, Spottiswoode & Co., London, 1913, pp. 73, 86, 195, Bb39m O19 (LSF)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Dr. Kenneth Garlick, A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Volume of the Walpole Society, v. 39, Walpole Society, 1962-1964, p. 69, N12 W35 A1 39 + (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Dr. Kenneth Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1954, p. 23, NJ18 L42 G37 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Dr. Kenneth Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, a complete catalogue of the oil paintings, Phaidon, Oxford, 1989, p. 133, no. 13, pl. 56, NJ18 L42 G376 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Dr. Kenneth Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, portraits of an age, 1790-1830, Art Services International, Alexandria, Va., 1993, pp.22-23, no. 2, NJ18 L42 G377 1993 + (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Ellis Waterhouse, An Impressive Panorama of British Portraiture, Apollo, v. 105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 250-1, fig. 31, N1 A54 + (YCBA) , Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)]
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Geoffrey Ashton, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Chaucer Press, London, 2006, pp. 116-17, pl. 42, NJ18 L42 A76 2007 + (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: George Welbore Agar-Ellis, Lord Dover, Connoisseur, Vol. 166, September 1967, p. 1ii, N1 C75 + (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 281, no. 83, pl. 83, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Kelly Compton, Thomas Lawrence, Still Brilliant, Two Centuries On, Fine Art Connoisseur, vol. 8, no. 3, June, 2011, p. 33, Not Available at Yale
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 142-43, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Malcolm Cormack, A concise catalogue of paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 142-43, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Marcia R. Pointon, Portrayal and the search for identity, Reaktion Books, London, 2013, pp. 105-07, 109, Illus. 33, N7575 .P6452 2013 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels], Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 3, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels], Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 3, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: R. J. B. Walker, Regency portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, 1985, p. 161 (vol. 1), N1090 A592 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Ronald Sutherland Gower, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Goupil, J. Boussod, Manzi, Joyant, successors, London New York, 1900, p. 124, NJ18 L42 G7 + (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Thomas Lawrence, Regency power & brilliance, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2010, pp. 269-71..., No. 49, NJ18 L42 T56 2010 + (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Walter Armstrong, Lawrence, Methuen & co., ltd., London, 1913, p. 127, NJ18 L42 A75 (YCBA) , Also Available Online (ORBIS)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Yale Center for British Art, Selected paintings, drawings & books, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1977, p. 41, N590.2 A82 (YCBA)
  • Dimension height :: 91.4cm
  • Dimension width :: 73.7cm
  • Exhibition :: 2016 Installation YCBA - 401
  • Exhibition :: An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy
  • Exhibition :: Sir Thomas Lawrence - Portraits of an Age 1790-1830
  • Exhibition :: The Critique of Reason : Romantic Art, 1760–1860
  • Exhibition :: Thomas Lawrence - Regency, Power and Brilliance
  • Exhibition :: Yale University Art Gallery 2015 - 2016
  • Located in :: 401
  • Located in :: Bay23
  • Located in :: New Haven
  • Located in :: On view
  • Located in :: YCBA, 401, Bay23
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: painting
  • Subject Concept :: coat
  • Subject Concept :: costume
  • Subject Concept :: fabric
  • Subject Concept :: fur
  • Subject Concept :: hand
  • Subject Concept :: man
  • Subject Concept :: neckcloth
  • Subject Concept :: portrait
  • Subject Concept :: seated
  • Subject Concept :: stock
  • Subject Concept :: texture
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  • ...
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  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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?:label
  • George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, later 1st Lord Dover
  • George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, later first Baron Dover
?:type