Sir Thomas Lawrence. Elizabeth Farren (1759-1829). Oil on canvas. 239 x 146 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA. More.
Elizabeth Farren (1759-1829) - known also as Eliza Farren, British comic actress of Irish descent, considered one of the best of her day. Today, she is mostly known for her 1790 portrait by Lawrence, which is considered one of his masterpieces. Like the other masterpiece he exhibited that year -- his portrait of Queen Charlotte -- it was not well-received by the sitter. In the case of Ms. Farren, she believed that she appeared too thin -- hardly a common complaint from most sitters -- and she disliked the posture Lawrence had given her. It is possible, however, that it was not so much the technical execution of the portrait that Elizabeth disapproved of, but the fact that after the positive response the painting had received from the public, Lawrence decided to raise his price for the work to 100 guineas from the 60 originally agreed upon -- a move, it is known, that was criticized privately by numerous of the painterís close friends.